John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, has called for sober reflections on the present challenges facing the nation with particular attention to last the General Elections and the state of insecurity, kidnapping and mindless killing by terrorist groups in different parts of the country.
The Cardinal made the call in his reflection at the interdenominational Church Service, held last Sunday at the National Christian Centre, Abuja; as part of the activities to mark the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari, for his second term in office.
His words: “The last elections have left behind thick clouds of acrimony that are still to clear. We are still waiting for the final verdict of the tribunals, on which we now rely, in a spirit of peaceful contest, guided by the rule of law”. He added: “This is no time for any celebration of victory or for lamentation over defeat. Rather, it is time to pull our efforts together, with the grace of God to tackle the serious challenges before us”.
Stressing the need for all to accept that we have been doing things in the wrong way in the country, Cardinal Onaiyekan called for an end to the blame game trade of the political class over the country’s woes and atrocities. Noting that: “Doing nothing but complaining and pointing accusing fingers at others is to wait for the worst to happen,” the Cardinal stated: “The positive and responsible option is to stand up to be counted and get involved in building the nation of our dreams”. He added: “The Lord has put before us a choice between death and life. He urges us to choose life, for our own good and for his greater glory.”
Speaking on the state of insecurity and avoidable wanton killings of the citizens by some mindless people under different guises; Cardinal Onaiyekan declared: “The greatest of God’s gift to us, life itself, is in danger all over our land. Gunmen – and – women- unknown and known – have been sowing deaths destruction and misery almost everywhere. Property, well-being, harmony and peace are endangered by generalized insecurity.”
The Cardinal regretted that for too long, the country has been witnessing what “seem to be a policy of polarization of the nation along primordial fault lines of ethnicity and religion”; adding: “The result is that we have been indulging in the highly risky game of dancing on the brink of chaos.”
Cardinal Onaiyekan prayed for the return of sanity in all facets of life in the country, in order to facilitate the sense of national cohesion and for President Muhammadu Buhari to “live up to the Christian-Muslim principle that all authority and power belong to God, and must be exercised under His will.” He added: “May he be liberated from bad advisers and unhelpful associates. May he see the wisdom of bringing on board every segment of the nation, for an improved sense of belonging, without which the problems of the nation will not be successfully addressed”
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