The Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to stop making policy pronouncements in churches. He urged politicians to go and meet the people in the villages where they are living in abject poverty. Archbishop Kaigama offered the advice while talking to SaharaTV over the weekend. He chided Nigerian politicians for not caring about the people but rather engaged in a mad pursuit of their personal interest.
“All we want are politicians who are ready to serve Nigerians,” he said in an interview with Rudolf Okonkwo. “Nigerians have suffered enough. The politicians that get into power concentrate their whole energy in helping themselves.”Archbishop Kaigama who is the President of the Nigerian Bishops Conference urged religious leaders to stop telling people in power what they wanted to hear because of the pittance that they collect from these political leaders. “If I have to meet the governors or the president I wouldn’t have to hide my disappointment,” he said. “Our leaders are not giving their best to the nation.”On the upcoming National Conference Kaigama expressed the worry that it would be another avenue to display intellectual talent and oratory. He said he did not see how it would bring anything good for the nation.“After 100 years of amalgamation we are still dancing in a circle,” he lamented. “Why is there poverty? Why is there endemic corruption?”He described as criminal the idea that the government allowed students to be out of school for over six months. Addressing the violence going on in Plateau state between the settlers and the indigenes, the Archbishop called the relative peace now in the state ‘the peace of the graveyard.’ He said that social, political and economic issues behind the crisis have not been addressed. He worried that it was a matter of time before they explode once again.“The issues are not addressed because of either lack of political will on the part of politicians or that security people are compromised,” he said.Archbishop Kaigama applauded President Jonathan’s signing of the Prohibition of Same-Sex Marriage Bill. Despite the signing the archbishop hoped that gays would not be discriminated against. “I don’t imagine that because any body is gay he or she will be convicted,” he said. “The constitution is clear about this gay union is not allowed. It is not a crime to be gay but gay union is a crime.”He added, “I will treat [a gay person] with great understanding and love, with great compassion.”