Nigerians from all walks of life have been urged to unite and work assiduously to build a peaceful and united country, particularly at this period of growing insecurity, fear and anxiety in the land.
This was the submission of the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins in his 2021 Easter Message signed by the Director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu.
Archbishop Martins also called on the country’s leadership at all levels to be more proactive and sincere in tackling the numerous challenges plaguing the nation such as insecurity, endemic corruption, economic woes, ethnic agitations, worsening unemployment, amongst several others. Failure to urgently address these problems, he warned, was capable of plunging the entire nation in the path of disintegration.
He congratulated Christians and indeed all Nigerians on the successful completion of the 40day Lenten season, a period set aside to prepare them for the celebration of Easter, the most important Christian feast. He urged all Christians to allow the spiritual gains of the Lenten season to continue to take effect in their daily lives. The prelate also stressed the need for all Nigerians to continue to live in true brotherhood, adding, however, that this can only be reinforced when there is love, mutual respect and tolerance, care for human life and promotion of justice for all of God’s children as taught by Jesus Christ and as he demonstrated in his life in this world.
Archbishop Martins expressed dismay over what he termed the failure of those in government to address the grave level of discontent across the land and the inability of security agencies to nip the activities of criminals in the bud and identify their sponsors in order to deal with insecurity. He said that the growing restlessness in the land and the perceived inability of government to address major contentious issues of national importance, could well herald a deadlier wave of disaffection than that of the Endsars protest of last October.
“We give thanks to the Almighty God for yet another opportunity to celebrate the risen Lord at this Easter celebration despite the global pandemic. The fact that we are still among the living at this time is a privilege; it shows that God still has some special purpose for us as individuals and as a nation. Our prayer is that the Spirit of God may use us as instruments of peace and unity. Amen.
These are indeed challenging times, and we cannot and should not remain complacent to the demands of the times. All of us, the leadership and the followership have a date with destiny; to build a country we all can be proud of. In the first instance, our leaders need to work more assiduously towards offering good governance for which they were elected in the first instance. They must show more sincerity and resilience in their fight against insecurity and provide the enabling environment for all hardworking and progressive minded citizens to profit from their honest hard work without any form of harassment or intimidation. All criminals, be they bandits, kidnappers or herdsmen must be made to face the law. There should be no selective justice. A situation whereby only a few privileged Nigerians close to those in authority seem to be enjoying all the goodies at the expense of the majority does not augur well for our collective wellbeing. No individual or ethnic group should be above the law or made to feel superior or more privileged than others. There should be equity and justice for all; after all, the country belongs to all of us.”
Archbishop Martins then called on Nigerians to actively seek to hold their elected public officers accountable for good governance, within the provision of the rule of law. Nigerians must put pressure on the Federal Government to deal with situations that have led non-state actors into taking the security of their communities in their hands thereby fueling ethnic tensions and the resultant problems. It must be difficult for them to stand by and watch people being killed, farmlands and other properties being ruined while those who have due authority seem to be unable to deal with the criminals.
Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu,
DIRECTORATE OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS
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