John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Emeritus Archbishop of the Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, has encouraged Nigerians to put elected leaders on notice and hold them accountable, according to NAN.
Cardinal Onaiyekan said this in Abuja on Tuesday at the North Central Zonal Dialogue Conference, which was organized by the Lux Terra Leadership Foundation in collaboration with the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development.
According to him, Nigerians are used to “just sitting and complaining about everything” but do nothing to challenge bad leaders.
“Nigerians have gotten used to just sitting and complaining about everything. They complain about government and politicians, but they do not take their role of citizen participation seriously.
The leaders are happy about this and take full advantage of the docile nature of most Nigerians,” he said.
Only until Nigerians actively exercise their right to “citizen engagement” in governance, according to the priest, would politicians be on their toes and live up to their obligations.
The cleric reminded leaders that they had placed themselves under God’s judgment moment they swore their oath of office with either the Bible or the Quran.
Another panelist, Bola Abimbola, Executive Director of the Savannah Centre, pointed out that part of the country’s problems arise from a lack of trust between the government and residents.
Mr Felix Pwol, a Director at the centre, represented Abimbola, who said it was critical for the government to focus on national unity, national security, women’s and youth development, as well as civil society and government partnership.
The meeting, according to Rev. Fr. George Ehusani, Executive Director of Lux Terra, was held in response to a broad request for dialogue to address Nigeria’s growing socio-economic, political, and security crises.