Nigerian Bishops Focusing on Peace and Democracy

ABUJA, Nigeria, MARCH 12, 2003 ( National peace, democracy and the forthcoming elections are among the topics under discussion this week at the plenary assembly of Nigeria’s Catholic bishops.

Father Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, director of communications at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, said in statements published by the Misna missionary agency: “In view of recent events in the country, the bishops decided to address this theme to promote further reconciliation and peace among the people of God.”

Father Badejo added, “The bishops will also deliberate on the outcome of the first national pastoral congress and the third national Eucharistic Congress, held in Ibadan in November.”

“Other pertinent national issues to be discussed will include proffering ways of conducting free, fair and peaceful elections in April 2003,” he said.

The meeting was scheduled to open officially on Tuesday, with a Mass presided over by Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, president of the bishops’ conference. The assembly runs through Friday.