By Fr. Anthony Adetayo

In Nigeria, the violation of economic, social and cultural rights occurs on daily basis which is a sign of a State failing in its obligations to ensure that the people are enjoying their rights without discrimination. In a meeting of the Church and Society department of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode held on the 12th of August 2021 at JDPC Conference Hall, Ijebu-Ode, The Chairman of the department, Very Rev. Fr. John-Patrick Ngoyi CICM revealed the failures of the government to uphold the human right of the people they govern especially during these hard times. The government has failed to ensure a minimum wage sufficient for a decent living (rights at work). It has failed to prevent starvation in many areas and communities in the country (freedom from hunger). It has failed to prevent employers from discrimination in recruitment (based on sex, disability, race, political opinion, social origin, health status, etc. These indices are clear even from the recent pandemic lock down and vaccination procedures.

The groups making up the department include major organs of the church such as Health, JDPC, Family and Human Life, Education and Social Communications. They all work together to keep the relationship between the Church and the State cordial and gainful.
In a bid to analyze the response of the Federal and State government to the crisis caused by the pandemic and the subsequent hoarding of the palliatives, the Chairman Very Rev. Fr. John-Patrick Ngoyi CICM insisted that we expected more from the government. According to him, “we have always held government responsible in the past and they have always responded well. Former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel always got our calls and feedback even if they are not palatable to the government.” The Chairman continued by saying “We shall continue on human right education”. The department has decided to continue to enlighten the people on life matters, health matters, justice attainment and communicate all these in line with the SDGs of the United Nations. This is simply an indication of the need for all concerned Nigerians to wake up to their rights and the Church’s role in perpetuating human freedom and right.

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