The theme for this year’s AGM is “National Security: Challenges for Church and Society in Nigeria” and had in attendance about 138 registered participants from all the dioceses in Nigeria.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna, Most Rev. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, who is also the Episcopal Chairman of Church and Society Department and the chair for the event bemoaned the fact that the Church has been a major victim of the insecurity in the country as most of its members and infrastructure are usually the primary targets in the ensuing violence. He called for a concise effort by government at all levels to live up to their responsibilities of providing a safe environment for its citizens.
In his welcome address, the Director of Church and Society who is also the Executive Secretary of Caritas Nigeria, Rev. Fr Uchechukwu Obodoechina challenged priests and religious to begin to speak out boldly against the mounting insecurity and conflicts in their domains rather than keep silent because their bishops had not given them the permission to speak.
The AGM is an annual activity that brings together church leaders and actors within the development sector to review their performance and plan for the next year.
The Department of Church and Society is made up Education, Family and Human Life, Health, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), and Migration and Refugees units. Caritas Nigeria, the agency of the Catholic for coordinating development interventions in Nigeria is domiciled inside this department.