Most Rev Hilary Odili Okeke
Most Rev Hilary Odili Okeke

From Chuks Collins, Awka

The Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev Hilary Odili Okeke has expressed deep worries over the poor state of the nation in spite of the rich natural abundant resources.

Most Rev Hilary Odili Okeke
Most Rev Hilary Odili Okeke

The Bishop, in his 2014 Christmas message at Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral, Nnewi yesterday lamented that despite being so richly endowed yet most Nigerians are wallowing in abject poverty and depravity.
?He noted that, ?the country is stupendously rich in human and material resources; yet suffering from lack of essential and basic amenities and commodities. Power supply is still erratic; public water supply is not available; health and education are poorly funded; roads and other means of transportation are far from adequate but the country has abundance of resources to provide all these things.

??Countries with fewer resources provide these things for their populace far more than in Nigeria. The reason is obvious: Nigerians waste their resources in puffing up their egos and in creating opulence for the ruling class. The cost of governance is too bloated, as too much is spent on salaries and allowances, estacode, hotel costs and other perquisites of office.

??How can any government with such high expenditure profile have enough to provide adequate amenities and necessities of life? Furthermore, the wasteful and extravagant spending is not only in public affairs, it is also seen at funerals, weddings and parties. People invent endless ways of burning naira. If needless and vain expenditure is controlled, the money saved can be used to provide for many poor and disadvantaged persons in our country??, the cleric stressed.

?He observed sadly, that the rich are getting richer and more wasteful while the poor are getting poorer lacking the basic necessities of life. According to him, ?children from poor families hardly have access to good education. The members of poor families have no hope of accessing good healthcare. Many of them lack adequate housing.
“If those in government and rich Nigerians can reduce their extravagance and super comfort, there will be enough resources to provide modicum of services and comfort to the majority of Nigerians living below human dignity”, he noted.

Bishop Okeke urged all to remember that Christmas is not about spending recklessly and extravagantly or eating and indulging in earthly pleasures without restraint pointing out that after Christmas, there will be responsibility for the coming New Year.

?He maintained that the country will be better if the affluent ones would renounce some of their privileges so as to invest in the less privileged ones who are suffering untold hardship even in the midst of plenty which the prelate noted is the best way to celebrate Christmas.


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