From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor has said Nigeria would not disintegrate despite the crushing economic realities.
He said 2017 would be a turning point for all Nigerians.
Bishop Ezeokafor who is the chairman, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), stated this while delivering his New Year message at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, yesterday.
He said Nigerians would attract the blessings of the New Year by shunning violence, injustice, recklessness, impunity, corruption and lawlessness.
“To access the blessings of the year, you must make sure you are part of the peace process. Wherever you live, wherever you work, be part of the peace process. Peace is built, worked for and does not just come, you desire it, work for it, pray for it and participate in the peace building process. Do not be part of the problem; rather, be part of the solution,” he said.
The Bishop also enjoined Nigerians to be agents of peace within their neighbourhoods, communities and society at large. He said the love of power seen in the life of Herod in the Bible was still manifesting in human beings today especially in the political arena.
“As the period of election in our country draws near, one sees it at work in the candidates vying for political offices who go to any length to secure and retain political power. It also shows itself in many people, whose only calculation with regard to the political process is what gains they could make out of it. For these politicians, the stakes are too high, access to or loss of political power means a corresponding access or loss of key to enormous financial and social resources.”
He said God was looking for those who would open themselves up to His love so that they might be the channel for moving Nigeria’s fledgling democracy to greater heights, so that they can save it from all those who are desperately clinging to political power or those desperately seeking to gain access to power and its payoff in terms of wealth, clout and prestige.
While urging Nigerians to be hopeful, he said the country would not collapse but would come out of the woods. He said the responsibility for revamping the economy rested on all and not government alone.
The Bishop also called on federal and state governments to support the promotion of agriculture so that Nigeria could achieve food sufficiency to feed and sustain her citizens. (The Sun)