“We call on our president to wake up to the fact that most Nigerians are today disillusioned by the frittering away of the high hopes which they invested in his resolve to turn things around.

“The president can no longer safely ignore the very strong allegations of a rise in nepotism and sectionalism in federal appointments.

“This has further deepened the feelings of alienation and the rise of centrifugal forces that are threatening the foundations of our unity.

“One-sided appointments into public office have displayed a tendency towards a form of sectionalism that we have found difficult to associate with the high moral credentials of the president. A hurricane of violence by herdsmen and other agents of death has left in its wake a landscape of blood and destruction.

“Political violence, corruption, kidnappings, armed robbery, ritual murders and all ills of the past, are still very much present and we seem to be progressively sinking deeper into the mud. Our people are now ravaged by disease and hunger. The result is the rise in the curve of violence both by the state agents and non-state actors among our own people.

“We wish to state firmly that the debate about the restructuring of our country should not be seen as an act of rebellion or as a call for division.

“It should rather be seen as an expression of our people’s desire that the political class return to the fine principles of democracy such as true federalism, negotiation and consensus building as means of achieving a more equitable distribution of the resources of our country.”

The bishops also frowned at calls for the expansion of the scope of Sharia law in Nigeria, adding that it is at variance with the letter and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution.

They pledged their support for the anti-graft war of the president, but warned against the violation of the rule of law in carrying out the fight against corruption;

They advised President Buhari to work with Nigerians from diverse background in the bid to restore the glory of the country.

“The president must ensure that Nigerians do not feel that our country is sliding back into dictatorship,” the statement concluded.

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