The Catholic Bishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has urged the Presidency to stop labelling critics of his administration, particularly opposition politicians, as enemies and supporters of the Boko Haram sect.
Speaking on a radio programme “Face the Nation”, on Rockcity 101.9 FM Abeokuta, Ogun State, the frontline cleric advised those in positions of authority to be tolerant of the opposition.
He said: “The issue of the politicisation is very serious and dangerous, where the party in government sees anybody who doesn’t agree with them as the Boko Haramist that are out to destroy the nation. What this means is that, if you do not agree with me, or if you are not in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), you don’t love Nigeria… That we disagree in politics doesn’t mean we don’t love our nation. And until we get that out of our heads, not much will move forward.
“By the way, before I’m misquoted, it’s the same thing from the part of the opposition, who think they are the only ones who love Nigeria and those in the party in government don’t like this country and are destroying our nation. That kind of attitude cannot help us.”
The former Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) president also said the insecurity in the land is disturbing.
The cleric expressed disappointment at the Presidency’s information managers.
He said: “When things are not going well, and if there is anything on which Nigerians are agreed, irrespective of political parties, it is that things are not going well.
The only time I’ve heard that everything is perfect was recently on television, on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), when Okupe was telling HARDTALK that ‘everything in Nigeria is perfect’.
“He is the only one I’ve heard saying that kind of thing, that the government has done everything perfectly. When he was asked about the girls in the bush, he said: ‘Oh, don’t worry, they will soon come back.’ Who is he deceiving? We all agree that things must change. I’m hoping that the more and more Nigerians will realise that we can’t just sit down and wait for things to change. Worse still, we don’t sit down and say, ‘Only God will save Nigeria’.”