The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, has urged the incoming Nigerian government to ensure it works for peace and reconciliation across the nation.
Martins, in an Easter message on Sunday signed by Anthony Godonu, Director of Social Communications, Lagos Archdiocese, said; “In-coming governments must work for peace and reconciliation in order to foster peace and unity among Nigerian peoples.
“The hardship that our people are facing today arising from bad leadership cannot be overestimated. Let all leaders of different levels and positions do away with narrow parochial, ethnic, and religious interests so that we may be set on the path of greatness.
“We must realize that individual personal goods, security, etc., can be assured only if the good of every individual person is attained. Both leaders and people must renounce the path of selfishness and greed that is so prevalent now.
“If we learn to love one another selflessly as Christ loves us, then we can build a better society where all would be able to develop, thrive, and actualize their God-given potentials,” the statement partly read.
Martins further challenged the in-coming administrations at the federal and state levels to be faithful to the promises in their manifestos so as to give Nigerians a new lease on life.
The prelate also called on all Nigerians to allow the power of Christ’s resurrection to dispel the dark moments of our lives in order to heal the wounds that are threatening the unity of our country today.
“Christ has brought us from darkness to light by shattering the gates of death and subduing the grip of sin and evil. He did this by willingly dying on the cross of Calvary in order to redeem mankind from eternal damnation.
“In a country where there is so much division and disunity, the Archbishop calls on the political elites to take the Risen Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ, as their model—the humble servant who is so selfless as to give himself up to death so that he can reunite people to God and restore peace among peoples,” Most Rev. Martins admonished.
Martins went on to charge all Christians to truly renew their baptismal promises at Easter and to reject Satan and all his evil works and deeds. This would serve as a reflection of their faith and their readiness to live the new life of Easter, working for the unity and progress of our Nigerian society.
The prelate called on all to pray for the grace to recognize the risen Christ in the reality of their lives and to live in his love with trust and confidence in his promise to give them victory over their challenges. He also called on the political elites, especially those recently elected in the 2023 general elections, to dedicate themselves to the common good and the welfare of the electorate and to take Nigeria from its currently polarized and divided situation to one of unity, progress, and peace.
He said such a measure of self-sacrifice for the common good is expected of everyone, particularly those in leadership positions in the country, in order to bring about genuine progress, peace, and hope for the nation.
“This is a period of excruciating pain for Nigerians arising from poverty and hunger, banditry, kidnapping, and other terrorist activities, and we expect those who rule the land to make the required difference.
“In recent times, we have had moments of divisiveness and disunity in our country. Disunity is always the work of the devil, the agent of darkness, who is always looking for opportunities to cause confusion.
“As we celebrate Easter and the victory of the Risen Christ over sin and evil, let us allow the power of Christ’s resurrection to dispel the darkness of disunity, discrimination, and violence that we are experiencing.
“We must allow ourselves to be agents of unity, peace, and progress,” Martins admonished.
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