CPCIF: Critical Stakeholders Converge To Chat On Way Forward For Nigeria, Raise Communique
By Our Reporter
Critical stakeholders, Friday converged at St. Paul’s parish Hall, Benin City in Edo State to chat on the way forward of Nigeria for the common good of the citizenry in a forum tagged Catholic Politicians and Captains of Industry Forum, CPCIF and “STATE OF THE NIGERIAN NATION: CPCIF CHATS ON WAY FORWARD FOR THE COMMON GOOD”, as its theme.
In attendance were Prof. Pat Utomi; the Abia State Deputy Governor of Abia State, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu; Edo State Deputy Governor, Hon. Philip Shaibu; Osun State Deputy Governor, Dr. Benedict Olugboyega Alabi; Senator representing Plateau South senatorial district, Sen. Prof, Dame Nora Daduut; Knights of St. Mulumba, KSM; Catholic Women Organization of Nigerian, CWON; Catholic Youths Organization of Nigerian, CYON, Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigerian, CCRN among others.
Speaking during the event the Abia State Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu said that the issue of unemployment, banditry, kidnappings among other problems facing Nigeria could be salvaged by retraining, enabling and empowering the graduates in the field of skills acquisition and agricultural productions.
Sir Oko Chukwu who passionately appealed to the participants involved to device means that can be used to tackle some of the problems facing the country, said these areas – skills acquisition and Agricultural productions are readily available if well harnessed, can create employment opportunities.
Making reference to the case of Abia State, where at some point the issue of unemployment was causing a lot of stress for the government, and how it remedied the situation through brainstorming on the areas where the state had comparative and competitive advantage and; how Governor Okezie Ikpeazu created employment by resorting to massive Small and Medium Scale Enterprises for unemployed youthful undergraduates and skillful Abians.
He urged everyone to go back to their various corners and begin to look into those things “We are not doing right”, and start the same place to do the right thing as it will help flatten the curves of the problems, “We are facing in this country”.
Sir Oko Chukwu reminded fathers that God has placed certain roles on them and specifically encouraged them to go back and checkmate their homes as it is where the various problems facing the country largely emanated from.
His words, “I must appreciate the founder and Chairman board of trustees of Catholic Church of Nigeria for organizing this event. We are all members of the church and in other words, we suppose to be the salt of the world.
” Politics is seen as something that is vulnerable and that nothing good will come out of it, but the truth is that, if everyone stays away from politics, no one will clean the mess we are into for us”.
He enjoined members to become actively involved either in partisan politics or the party buisness.
In his remarks, the Edo State Deputy Governor, Hon. Philip Shaibu expressed his excitement for the forum and charged the participants to strive to make a difference in their own little ways.
He insisted that there are still good people in the government and politics just that the system is bad, adding, ” Until we fix the system, Nigeria will remain where it is. It’s time we walk the talk”.
He appealed to politicians who decamped and still decamping to other political parties to speak boldly to the leaders on matters affecting the nation instead of praise singing.
Also Speaking, the Osun State Deputy Governor, Dr. Benedict Olugboyega Alabi said the Country needs to take a new direction, and that inspired the convocation of the Church, private sector and the government, to chart a cause for Nigeria in order to move forward.
Contributing the Senator representing Plateau South senatorial district, Sen. Prof, Dame Nora Daduut described politics as a service to humanity, advising that the participants can spread the Catholic social teachings to change the larger society.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion. Prof. Pat Utomi said the very essence of public life is about impact and encouraged political and business leaders to create an indelible impact on the Society.
Meanwhile, the communique issued at the end of the executive meeting read:
We express our gratitude to the conveners of the CPCIF especially the host of the meeting, His Excellency, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor of Edo state and several eminent political leaders who were able to attend. We also thank the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), His Grace, Most Rev Dr Augustin Akubueze, the Archbishop of Benin for providing the facilities for the meeting and most importantly, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan (CON) for his continuous support and commitment.
We deliberated on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) communiqué from Enugu which expressed hope in a better Nigeria which though, presently challenged across several fronts still reserves the tenets for national unity, justice, peace, and development. We agree with these conclusions and believe that it is our duty to educate ourselves, other people, and the business community, that it is our responsibility to ensure that these are fully implemented.
We met with the Catholic grassroot organizations including the Knights and Ladies of St Mulumba, Knights and Ladies of St John International, Catholic Women Organisation, Catholic Youths Organisation of Nigeria, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement and Catholic Action Nigeria.
The following issues were raised:
• The rising spate of insecurity in the country.
• The urgency of electoral reform.
• The urgency of fiscal subsidiarity and federalism.
• The challenge of youth unemployment and the need for massive job creation.
We have committed ourselves to building networks and galvanizing resources to generate the thinking to address these issues and ensure their implementation through the coalition of Catholic politicians and business leaders.
We believe that business and politics exist to create values that elevate society and advance human progress. Politics organises the society to achieve progress while business transforms material opportunities to create value and wealth to cater for the needs of citizens.
The pursuit of the common good also implies that we focus on getting people – Catholic and non-Catholic – to learn from the wisdom contained in the social doctrines of the Catholic church which throws light on human social interactions which became pronounced with Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, published in the aftermath of the Second Industrial Revolution.
Now that we are in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), there are peculiarities of the information age that politics and businesses need to pay particular attention to, that this body will help to facilitate and promote entrepreneurs that will address the social needs of this radically challenging times.
In closing, Nigeria faces many challenges, but we are optimistically committed to the common good of all recognizing that ethical values drive human progress. As politicians and business leaders, we are hopeful that we possess the abilities to engineer ways and means to help leapfrog the society out of these problems.
Our commitment is to actions and not words, and we want to see the impacts of these commitments in political and economic issues to arrest our country’s drift into anarchy and chaos.
*Prof Pat Utomi* Chairman
*His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Comrade. Philip Shaibu* (1st Vice Chairman – Political)
*His Excellency, Dr. Benedict Olugboyega Alabi* (Coordinator, SW-Political)
*His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu* (Coordinator, SE – Political)
*Senator (Prof) Dame Nora Daduut* Coordinator, Parliamentary Action Network (PAN)
*Dr Bongo Adi* (Coordinator, Policy and Research)
*Sir Peter Ikponmwosa Agbontaen*(Convener CPCIF)
*Hon Dominic Ezerioha* (Deputy Spokesperson)