Onaiyekan Calls For Change, Irrespective Of Winner At Polls
The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, said in Abuja Friday that he expected next Saturday’s elections to herald desired change, irrespective of the party that eventually emerges winner at the polls. The Cardinal said Nigeria deserved a change in leadership style.
“Whether it is the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), or the leading opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC)”, change must be brought to bear in the country because the people are generally disenchanted with the state of affairs in the nation.
Onaiyekan who spoke yesterday at the 2015 Cathedraticum celebration at St. John’s Catholic Church, Keti, Abuja, lamented the prevailing widespread fear and anxiety in the country over the general elections.
He said: “We are in a state of fear and anxiety, but God will usher in a state of renewal. My position is that there has to be change. I am not talking about change from bus conductors. I don’t care who wins, whether it is PDP or APC, but whoever wins, there has to be change because people are not happy with what is happening; people are hungry, people are suffering.
“We must claim the prophecy of Prophet Isaiah. The year is full of pessimism, anxiety and fear. It’s like people no longer believe in this nation again. People are running away but people like us cannot run away. We have to replace pessimism with optimism. Whoever win must do things differently”, he said
The archbishop who charged the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) to conduct a free and transparent election, also used the opportunity to ask Christians to pray for God’s intervention in the elections.
“We are praying that God should help us have a free and fair elections and whatever happens after is the will of God”, he said, adding, “we must be sincere with our prayers. I cannot pray for anyone who believes that whether people vote for him or not he will win.”
On the insurgency in the northern part of the country, he expressed optimism that Boko Haram will be defeated, just as he stated that “everything has a beginning and an end. Boko Haram started somewhere and it must be brought to an end,”.
While praying for peace to return to the troubled areas, he said the victims needed prompt government assistance to return to their homes after the war.
“My heart goes out to our brothers in the north east who have lost several relations and have been displaced. They have built houses and can’t live in it. Many of them have their houses demolished or burnt. They need help to return to their homes and rebuild their houses and when they rebuild they will live there by the grace of God. They will plant gardens and reap their fruits,” he prayed.
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