It is indeed a miracle of some sorts that despite all these anomalies across the land, we are still here to mark this year’s independence. We must thank God for the gift of life and for keeping the country together, despite the atrocities being committed by criminals of various descriptions. We pray that this will not be the last and that our country will continue to thrive. Nigeria is passing through one of the most challenging periods since independence in 1960, I urge citizens of this great nation not to give up on the unity of the country.
Our leaders should be proactive in righting the wrongs that have afflicted Nigerians and bring about a country that all would be proud to be associated with. We shall thrive and bounce back again only if we are able to address the fact that we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder. We are all aware of the issues that need to be addressed but which the leadership at all levels has not found the will to address. We are facing myriad challenges, particularly the life-threatening problem of deteriorating security that has led thousands of our fellow citizens to their untimely death and loss of properties.
Other problems bedeviling Nigeria, including corruption, unemployment, poverty, lack of good health care system, religious bigotry need to be addressed. We must be brave enough to confront the reality with honesty and objectivity or else we risk the disintegration of the country. Evil is thriving in our land because most of those in positions of leadership and the majority of the followers over the years have failed to do the needful. And unfortunately, no one is being held accountable.
The independence anniversary celebration, presents another opportunity for Nigerians to reason together and face the reality that all is not well with everyone. There is a need for discussion and negotiation among the peoples of Nigeria, we can attain the restructuring that would move the country away from the brink of failure that we have found ourselves. We must therefore continue to ask God in prayers for peace, unity and prosperity of the country as well as the security of lives and properties of the people.
• Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins is the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.
See Other Messages from the Bishop »