Religious leaders in the Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Administration have been called upon to help reduce cases of social vices across the capital.
The Minister made the appeal while receiving the Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan that paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja with delegation of the Catholic community.
Malam Bello said that the partnership was very necessary to re-orient the residents of the Territory in all spheres for the overall benefit of the country
The Minister observed that if people were more God fearing and dutiful, law enforcement agents will have little or nothing to do because the laws would be respected.
He identified the area of partnership to include sensitization and mobilization on environmental sanitation and respect for traffic rules in the Federal Capital City.
Commenting on the need to educate residents of the FCT on traffic regulation, the minister explained that “the traffic snarl in the FCT can be attributed partly to indiscipline on the roads by motorists that could be improved if the citizens are educated more on the need to obey basic traffic rules as part of their civic responsibilities”.
He also called for intensive advocacies by the religious bodies to ensure that they adhere to their duties as citizens with a view to maintaining discipline and religious harmony in the society.
Malam Bello, further expressed concern on how religious organizations and politicians deface the city’s traffic signs with posters of their events, which he said was hurting other residents of the Territory.
“You see a signboard that is meant to guide people to location costing money and then somebody, simply because he has an occasion coming up at somewhere, just goes and paste a poster to cover the signboard. Ordinarily, people will think it’s normal. But if we can preach and tell people it is wrong; it’s hurting other people because without that signboard, a driver will not be able to know whether to stop, or to go right or left”, he added.
The minister commended the Catholic delegation for their interventions in the areas of health and education in the FCT.
He made particular reference to the Daughters of Charity Hospital, Kubwa, which was recently removed to make way for the Abuja – Kaduna Railway project, adding that the FCT Administration has since provided alternative allocation to the Federal Ministry of Transportation to replace the hospital for the church.
Speaking earlier, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan described the FCT Administration as one of the most important and critical organs of government that need the prayer of the religious bodies to achieve it target.
He also urged the Minister to look into issues of allocation of land for religious and social service projects and support for Catholic University project of Nigeria – Veritas University, located in Bwari Area Council as well as encourage inter-religious initiatives.