By Bridget Ikyado/Angela Atabo
Bishops of the West African Sub-region have cautioned political and other leaders against the lust for acquisition of wealth.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of the 4th General Assembly of the Reunion of Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA).
The RECOWA President-elect, Most Rev. Alexis Touabli -Youlou, Diocese of Agboville, Cote D‘ivoire, signed the statement.
His message was communicated in English to newsmen by Most Rev Emmanuel Badejo, Bishop of Oyo on Saturday in Abuja.
The bishops urged Christian politicians, traditional rulers, technocrats, professionals, especially those in the media, business men and women, and indeed ” all our people to live out their Christian vocation in fighting corruption”.
They are warned against ethnocentrism, sectionalism and all forms of injustices in the society.
” We strongly denounce the policies and practices of our governments and leaders who facilitate and permit the exploitation and marginalisation of our people and endanger the future of our children.
” Tragically, some individuals engaged in acts of violence and terrorism that have aggravated the state of insecurity in our subregion.
” We call on all never to grow weary in denouncing and rooting out such evils in our midst,”the communique said.
The bishops, however, said they remained optimistic that none of the problems bedeviling our subregion was insurmountable.
” However, we need to work together, with like minds in politics, religion, economics, social life, the media, in synergy to fight against all forms of man ‘s inhumanity to man,” they said.
The bishops called for concrete considerations for the needy and vulnerable and for loving and welcoming everyone.
They enjoined Christians in the West African region to support the need for justice, peace and security.
According to the communique, new leaders were elected to man the affairs of RECOWA for the next three years.
Those elected were Most Rev. Alexis Touabli -Youlou, Diocese of Agboville Cote D‘ivoire, as President,
Most Rev. Joseph Kwaku Afrifah -Agyekum, Bishop of Koforidua, First Vice President and Most Rev. José Lampra , Bissau, Second Vice President.
Also elected to run the secretariat of the reunion Fr Vitalis Anaehobi, Secretary- General.
Rev. Vincent de Paul BORO, Deputy Secretary-General and Fr Celestine Sagna, Second Vice Deputy Secretary.
They thanked the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and the entire Catholic community.
They also thanked the government of the country and various men and women of goodwill for their magnanimity made manifest in their warm reception.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that deliberations of the assembly focused on the theme: ” Fratelli Tutti”: “Path to Build Brotherhood and Sustainable Peacein West Africa”.
Fratelli Tutti is the title of the latest encyclical of Pope Francis on Fraternity and social friendship.
Catholic Bishops from the 16 countries of the West African Subregion, comprising the Reunion of Episcopal Conferences of West Africa (RECOWA) participated in the conference that began on May 2.