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Negative Govt Policies Causing Nigerians Pains –Catholic Archbishop

The Archbishop of Metropolitan See of Lagos, His Grace, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has said that the difficulties faced by Nigerians, were as a result of the policies and decisions made by the government.

He, called on the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, state governors and other political leaders down to Local governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), to take critical view of the impacts of their policies and decisions on the citizenry. The Catholic Archbishop at the Holy Cross Cathedral, made this known in an interaction with the media, after the mass celebration in commemoration of the 58th World Social Communications Day with the theme, ‘Artificial Intelligence and the Wisdom of the Heart: Towards a Fully Human Communication.’

He said: “It is beyond any controversy that life is very very hard for majority of Nigerians at this point in time. The difficulties have arisen from policies and decisions that have been made. “The policies and decisions that have been made even they were made with the best of intentions, they have very negative effect on the lives of people. For example ganic fertiliser, pesticides, and herbicides, animal feeds using available materials and methods of application on crops to get desired result.

The Priest in charge of St Anthony Catholic Church, Kwene Badagry, Lagos, Rev. Fr. Rome NdiOnyekuru (SMA), at the event, said that celebrating a Mass to flag off the programme, was an act of gratitude to God. He noted that the gesture was from those who have those who do not have to make good out of life. Ndi-Onyekuru urged the beneficiaries to ensure the inputs were put to good use in order to increase their food production and live above hunger, stating:“I have blessed the inputs and the hands of the persons that will make use of them, for God to multiple and expand, for the benefit of mankind. I thank the sponsors of the project, the Conral Hilton Foundation of the U.S, for their thoughtfulness in remembering the poor people. people have accepted for instance the fuel subsidy has to go.

“They have accepted that the issue with regards of the activities of CBN are necessary for the survival of the finance and the rest of it. That is given; but I believe that our government needs to take a better and more critical view of the impact that it is having on the citizens of this country.”

Continuing, he said: “This is because any policy that is supposed to have a long term effect and does not take cognisance of the present day and life of members, aw that policy and decision needs to be reviewed in such a way that people do not die while they are waiting for the long term effects. “I am aware that several governments in several ways have been making an effort to do what they call palliative. Lagos State government has been doing its own an other states have been giving the palliatives. “But the palliatives either are not reaching everybody or simply inadequate to bear the pain a significant impact on what the people are feeling. What one can say to government is to take a look again and see in what ways the adverse effects of otherwise new policies can as it were ameliorated because nobody waits for tomorrow if he’s hungry today.” Speaking further, the Archbishop suggested that “decisions and policies need to be constantly reviewed in line with the experiences made available to them on different ways through the press, advocacies and the rest. “As for the people going through this, I can only say Nigerians are the most resilient of people. We tend to find our way around whatever it is that is going on. It is also important that as resilient that we are we also make our voices heard.

“Everybody talks about the president and governors which is appropriate but what about those who are closest to the people in terms of governance at the local government level and LCDA level? We should engage them also and let them recognise the ways in which these issues are probably impacting negatively on the lives of people.” Meanwhile, on Artificial Intelligence (AI), the cleric corroborated the message of His Holiness, Pope Francis that AI which is radically affecting the world of information and communication, has come to stay. Urging that AI must not be idolised nor rejected but there must be a balance with the application of caution in its usage.

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