The political class in West Africa should talk less and put in more effort to solve the problems of insecurity, poverty, and hunger in the sub-region, Catholic bishops from the 16 West African countries demanded on Sunday.
According to them, security issues, the welfare of the people, and peaceful coexistence should be treated with seriousness.
The Bishops stated these at the end of their fourth Plenary Assembly, held in Abuja with the theme: ‘Fratelli Tutti: Path to build brotherhood and sustainable peace in West Africa.’
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, spoke to journalists on their behalf, saying politicians should talk less but match their words with action.
He said, “We ask our politicians to talk less but do more. They talk a lot, promise a lot, campaign a lot, but do very little concretely to eliminate hunger, insecurity, the diseases, and all that we suffer from.
“They must go from mere talking to action. We should be able to seriously do something about all the differences, prejudices, and stereotypes that divide us.”
He added, “The problems have not diminished. They are still there, but our collective will to tackle them has not diminished either. When there is life, there is hope.
“We will, therefore, continue to talk, examine, and x-ray the problems before us. With every goodwill and determination, we shall succeed.
“This is what we tell ourselves as Bishops, priests, and all Christians. Let’s do something rather than cry and worry. Let’s actively do something concrete.”
He also urged the people to take active roles in building brotherhood and sisterhood in their country and humanity, saying it was not just about talk but implementation.
In a pastoral message read during the closing Mass of the Plenary Assembly, the West African Bishops, under the auspices of RECOWA, noted that the human fraternity today was under serious threat.
“We, therefore, call on political and traditional leaders to renew their commitment to working for the welfare and wellbeing of all of our people.
“We appeal to all in leadership, traditional and political, businessmen and women, public and civil servants, and especially our youth to stand together to defend our cherished values of family and brotherliness, which have always been the bedrock of our African cultures and traditions.
“As Africans, we have always lived for one another. We must rise up now, identify our gifts, and use them to build bridges of friendship and love. God, the father of all of us, calls us to this,” the pastoral message stressed.