The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) has blamed President Muhammadu Buhari administration for the economic recession in the country and has therefore called on the international community to stop giving loans to Nigeria.
Speaking at a workshop on “Better Ways of Human Rights Promotion in the New Normal” yesterday in Abuja, the National Social Communications Director of CSN, Rev Fr. Mike Umoh, said it was very clear that the country would slip into recession the moment all borders were closed and policies were not made to help people thrive in their businesses and the government could not generate enough resources to run its affairs or manage the resources it has.
He said: “They are always looking to borrow. The loan-level in the nation has skyrocketed with nothing to show for it. How do we get out of recession? Let us stop telling international communities to lend us money.
“We don’t need an economist to tell us we have slipped into recession. All those are official talks. The truth is, we have never been out of recession. The moment the dollar reached N470 and a bag of rice reached 38,000, we didn’t need anybody to tell us that we are in a recession.
“This government has held us to ransom, we are in a very terrible situation. The international community should help us. Soldiers no longer fight on behalf of the people, instead, they are fighting and killing the people. Civil organizations are clamped down and silenced. Our students are at home for close to a year because the lecturers have not been paid. If there will be one solution to our problem, it will be that the people in government have a change of heart”.
The cleric said “With the #EndSARS experience, I think we can all understand what the government interpreted as fake news. We don’t trust the government’s ability to manage truth and sincerity to move the nation forward. How can this government say the #EndSARS protest was tribal, terrorism. Where is this government, who can shoot peaceful protesters, when there are banditry and killings in the country? I don’t know if this government needs advice. The truth is that where there is no sincerity, things will not augur well. If there’s any advice, we’ll only beg them to save our nation from decadence and war”.
Former Secretary-General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr George Ehusani, said what happened during the #EndSARS protest was the same as what happened in 1995 when Nigeria was expelled from the commonwealth.
“All Nigerians have a responsibility today to take our country back. It is a very sad situation to see. For those of us who were involved in fighting for human and democratic rights in the ’90s, to still be alive and see that the situation is back to the way it was in 1998 before Gen. Sani Abacha died. When Abacha died, we thought it was ‘good riddance’. Let us now build a new country where there’s respect for the fundamental rights of the people. Now we’re back to those stages. Even though we say we run a democracy, many of us sat in our houses and saw people who were sympathetic to government organise criminals to go and disrupt peaceful protests.
“Nigerians should cry out that what happened on the 20th of October is unacceptable. We should see people resigning from the government on account of what happened. The government first called it fake news. The Nigerian Army kept denying their presence at the scene and changing their stories from not using live ammunition to using both live ammunition and blanks, from nobody who died to one person who died. Then we needed the Cable News Network (CNN) to show us footages with timelines, the accounts of that day. Why are leaders telling lies?” the Catholic priest wondered.