To ensure the year 2023 is free from chaos and anarchy, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has called on all Nigerians to seek divine guidance.
According to him, peace remains crucial and inevitable if the country hopes to reclaim its once enviable position as not only one of the most peaceful but also one of the fastest developing economies in the world.
In his homily at the 2023 New Year Mass which was also used to celebrate the 56th World Day of Peace held at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos on Sunday, the prelate thanked the Almighty God for the gift of the New Year and charged all Nigerians to play active roles in the forthcoming national elections by ensuring that they vote only credible and God fearing leaders capable of leading the country towards the path of prosperity.
While admitting that Nigerians went through very turbulent experiences in the year 2022, Archbishop Martins noted that what the country needs now are God-fearing leaders that will wipe away the tears from the citizens.
He equally assured the people of God that there was nothing too difficult for God to do as he can turn around for good seemingly hopeless situations.
“We need peace in Nigeria this 2023. Without peace, the forthcoming national elections would be a task in futility. I know many parts of the country are witnessing so much insecurity. That is why our security agencies must work round the clock to secure all parts of the country and ensure that all the criminal elements are brought to book. President Mohammed Buhari has pledged that he will ensure that we have credible elections. I do not doubt that he means well. But he cannot do it all alone. We must all play our path by ensuring that we come out to vote for the right candidates and also make sure our votes count. That is a way of ensuring that our elections would be credible.”
He charged leaders of the various political parties to prevail on their supporters to adhere strictly to the provisions of the newly amended electoral act and avoid indulging in any form of electoral malpractices during the forthcoming elections.
On the recent shooting of Mrs. Bolanre Raheem by a police officer now on trial, Archbishop Martins, while condemning the act, said it was very sad that the police officer not only killed the deceased but also two of her unborn babies through his careless action on Christmas Day.
The man of God added his voice to the clarion call for urgent police reforms, noting that such inhuman atrocities perpetuated by some men of the police force should no more be tolerated in a civilized society like Nigeria.
The New Year Mass also had in attendance the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, Prof Pat Utomi and the Gubernatorial candidate of the ADC party Mr. Olufunsho Doherty and his deputy Governorship candidate…
It was concelebrated by the Director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu and four other priests, including the Cathedral Administrator Very Rev. Fr Paul Ijasan