Cardinal Onaiyekan urges Nigerians to pray four peaceful election
The Catholic Bishop Emeritus of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan has urged Nigerians to pray for a peaceful election and a brand new government that will usher in a better Nigeria.
Speaking at the event to mark the 2023 International Day of Human Fraternity yesterday in Abuja, Onaiyekan lamented that Killings are going on in different parts of the country, and many kidnapped victims have died in the hands of their abductors.
He noted that religion should not be a cause for division and war, rather, religion should be seen as an instrument for peace and unity among human beings irrespective of their faith.
Onaiyekan who regretted that people are manipulated for political and other ideological reasons warned that that God does not need anybody to kill in His name adding that nobody has the right to kill anyone irrespective of the reason.
He explained that the International Day of Human Fraternity arose from a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly which was endorsed by Nigeria adding that the idea came about as a result of a Document on human fraternity also known as the Abu Dhabi agreement, which is a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar for peace in the world.
The cleric observed that the document stressed the need to bring scattered humanity together as brothers and sisters stressing that God is moving us as humans that will recognize one another as brothers and sisters under the same father who is God and that is the only way that we can move from war to peace through reconciliation and forgiveness.
He said, “We need to move from our division to unity. I commend the Federal government for being among the leaders that supported the document on a human fraternity at the United Nations. However, this document has not been taken seriously by the Nigerian religious leaders as many are ignorant and intolerant of the document. This document will be presented to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and when Christians and Muslims endorse the document, it will be taken to the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC). The document specifically stated that there is only one God for all human beings and that our diversities including religious diversities are part and parcel of God’s will for His creation therefore, we need to respect people who are of different faith and ethnicities”, he added.