The Boko Haram insurgency ravaging some parts of the country has been described as a failure of government.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Northern parts of the country, which gave the damning verdict on Saturday, noted that the insurgent group ought to have been crushed since 2003 when it started its violent agitation.
The Bishops, who spoke under the aegis of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province, which covers Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Kafanchan and Kotongora, also called on Catholics in the country, particularly in the North, to vote only political office seekers, who are ready to hand back the mission schools to them.
In the resolution at the end of their meeting held in Kaduna yesterday, the Bishops said bloodletting must stop because it is the blood of Nigerians of Northern extraction and their future that are being sacrificed.
Reading the communique issued at the end of the meeting to journalists, Archbishop of Kaduna and Metropolitan Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, said Boko Haram should have been detected and nipped in the bud since 2003 when they were still coming up.
According to him, “the growth of the Boko Haram group is as a result of failure of government, because we have allowed them to build up to become a monster group that is now difficult to contain”.
The Archbishop lamented that, “Today, the destructive violence of Boko Haram and the state of uncertainty surrounding our democracy is the cumulative impact of these years of blind ambition, mismanagement and squander that have brought our nation almost to its knees.
“Ordinarily after four controversial but successfully concluded elections since our return to democracy, we would expect our country to be showing signs of growth and consolidation. Rather, we find ourselves tightly in the clutches of fear, anxiety and near despondency”, he said.
The clergy, however, enjoined Nigerians, particularly northerners, to irrespective of their religious and ethnic differences, close ranks and work towards genuine healing and avoid opening themselves to another round of violence in the February general elections.
On the coming polls, the Archbishop called on all the Catholics in the country to elect only leaders who will return faith based schools and healthcare centers to them, adding that the government had since realized it was a mistake to have taken the schools from the owners, yet they have refused to return them, instead the schools have been vandalized.