The Catholic Bishop of Bauchi Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Hilary Nanman Dachelem, has called on the government and security agencies to, as a matter of urgency, rescue the 110 girls of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, abducted recently by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Most Rev. Dr. Hilary Nanman Dachelem, while fielding press questions in Bauchi Friday shortly after the closing ceremony of the 2018 2nd General Assembly of the Catholic Diocese of Bauchi said that it is unbecoming of the government to play politics with the lives of over 100 school girls.
The 2nd Assembly which had the theme: “Building a Sustainable Church in Bauchi Diocese: Challenges and Prospects,” brought together the Clergy and lay faithful of the Diocese comprising of Bauchi and Gombe States, to discuss religious and social issues from the standpoint of the Catholic Church and plan for ways to grow the Church.
Bishop Dachelem, who expressed the belief that life is sacred and must therefore be protected and respected, said that the best government and security agencies can do now is to rescue the abducted girls alive.
“My call is for the government to leave politics aside and retrieve these girls, leave politics and protect lives. You don’t politicize life, for Christ’s sake”, Dachelem told the assembly.
“Buhari is governing us because he has life, if he doesn’t have life, how can he govern us? He is governing us because we have life, if we don’t have life, he can’t govern us. When we take that life, what we are doing is destroying the foundation that makes us what we are and that is why we don’t need to toy with life,” he said.
Bishop added, “I don’t need to know who you are, political affiliation or religious beliefs, but all I know is that life is sacred and should be protected and respected by everybody. That is why it is a universal norm of morality that life is sacred and should be protected”.
The spiritual father, who also advised politicians in the country to value and regard life with dignity, said however that governance is not an easy thing but there issues that should not be toyed with especially when it has to do with the loss of lives.
“So, we should not take anybody’s life in the course of our political ambition, religious bigotry or ethnic interests. ”For no reason should we let any life go, that is an abomination, sacrilegious, unacceptable and inhumane, because the one that gave it (life) did not give it to be killed and taken by infinite beings who were also created”.
Dachelem further advised Nigerians to go and register in the ongoing Voters’ Registration so that they can exercise their franchise in the 2019 elections, and cautioned politicians not to see politics as a do-or-die affair but said they should accept defeat.
According to him, the problem is that politics has been confused with money and also with religion but “My advice sincerely to politicians is this: please, do your politics and don’t meddle it with religion”.
“When you are losing, don’t call your Christian brothers and say that you are losing because you are a Christian likewise, when you are losing, don’t call the Muslims and tell them you are losing because you are a Muslim, No”.
“Your religion was not the criteria for your political affiliation. If it is not, why do you fall back to it as the panacea when you are losing and not when you are winning? So, politicians should help us and keep religion aside and follow political ideologies, that is what we want and that is what we need”.
Speaking on the 2018 2nd General Assembly of the Diocese, Bishop Dachelem said it is about enabling the growth of the Diocese, stressing need for the understanding of critical issues in pastoral duties in the Bauchi Church to us assess the level of the Diocese.
“As a new Bishop, I cannot begin to administer people I do not know. I need to know them and understand their pastoring issues and challenges to be able to see how to formulate policies and find a direction to go, if we are to be effective and efficient in our work of evangelism in Bauchi Diocese”, he concluded.