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THE CHURCH IN LAGOS CONDEMNS THE USE OF ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS SENTIMENTS TO DERAIL OUR MARCH TO A NEW NIGERIA
THE CHURCH IN LAGOS CONDEMNS THE USE OF ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS SENTIMENTS TO DERAIL OUR MARCH TO A NEW NIGERIA
In the last few days, we have witnessed a sad decline in the level of thought and action in our quest for a new Nigeria. We have witnessed an unimaginable level of vandalism and looting of both public and private properties and business not only in the Lagos but also in many other parts of our country. This was a sad departure from and a wicked hijack of the peaceful protests that our young people had been embarking on.
To make matters worse, we have seen people making social media postings trying to incite ethnic and religious sentiments in order to shift focus away from a noble cause spearheaded by the young. Yorubaland, in general and Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, in particular, has been a melting pot of people from all parts of Nigeria and indeed, from all parts of the world. This has been a source of strength for our country and the Church. We urge all that see such video clips and similar postings to ignore them and resist the urge to circulate them. It is very significant that some State Governors as well as many eminent Nigerians and respected groups have denounced such divisive messages.
The Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Lagos also adds her voice to condemn this divisive message and cautions our young people not to allow the use of the same old tactics of political entrepreneurs to cause division among them and make them lose focus. These political jobbers have always played the ethnic and religious cards to derail initiatives which they know are capable of jeopardizing their class interest. Young people from all over our country and indeed, the entire people of Nigeria should be wise in their discernment of messages that employ ethnicity or religion in a way that excludes rather than bind people together.
It is certain that the issues at stake are neither tribal nor religious and those behind this sort of contrived narratives cannot mean well for our country. We must, therefore, be wary of succumbing to their effort to sow seeds of division and never give them platforms on which to thrive. The consequences of allowing such narratives to fly are too grave and the price to pay are too high. It is in the best interest of everyone to embrace harmony and peaceful co-existence so that all may live peaceably and comfortably wherever they choose to live in the country. The country needs peace and a chance to heal from the wounds that we are all nursing at present.
As we look forward to the fulfillment of the promises of government to address the concerns and demands made by the young people, we ask everyone to cool down our tempers and speak words of peace and reconciliation so that we can begin to heal as a country and overcome the present setback in the march to a new Nigeria.
May God direct our rulers to do the right and the good that peace may reign all over the country. Amen.
 
+ Alfred Adewale Martins
Archbishop of Lagos

 


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