There’s hope for West Africa -Catholic bishops

Despite their challenges, the 16 West African countries would overcome their current travails, Catholic bishops from the sub-region said on Saturday.

They insisted that political leaders must stop draconian policies and practices which permit the exploitation of the masses.

The bishops under the auspices of the Reunion of the Episcopal Conferences of West Africa also resolved to work with critical stakeholders to remove all obstacles to peaceful coexistence, development and productivity in the West African region.

The clerics expressed these views in a communique made available to journalists at the end of their fourth General Assembly, which was held in Abuja.

While acknowledging that West African countries were battling the common challenges of insecurity, corruption, and sectional marginalisation among others, they said there was no need to despair because tough times do not last forever.

The Catholic bishops said, “We recognize the inherent dangers in our current society, but we remain optimistic that none of the problems bedevilling our sub-region is insurmountable.

“However, we need to work together, with like minds in politics, religion, economics, social life the media, in synergy to fight against all forms of man’s inhumanity to man.”

The communique which was signed by RECOWA President, Revd. Alexis Touabli Youlou, further stressed that all stakeholders must sustain the advocacy for positive change in society.

The communique read, “As Church, we call on politicians, other leaders and indeed our people to order in their never-ending craving for self-aggrandisement and acquisition of wealth.

“We urge Christian politicians, traditional rulers, technocrats, professionals, especially those in the media, businessmen and women, and indeed all our people to live out their Christian vocation in fighting corruption, ethnocentrism, sectionalism, and all forms of injustice in society.

“We strongly denounce the policies and practices of our governments and leaders who facilitate and permit the exploitation and maiginalisation of our people and endanger the future of our children.

“Tragically, some individuals engaged in acts of violence and terrorism have aggravated the state of insecurity in our subregion. We, therefore, call on all never to grow weary in denouncing and rooting cut such evils in our midst.”