Catholic Bishops, SGF, Gombe governor urge Christians to pray for peace, unity
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has urged Nigerians to imbibe the enduring peace that Easter offers, especially now that the country is experiencing much violence.
President of CBCN and Archbishop-elect of Owerri, Lucius Ugorji, stated that peace could be promoted when all Nigerians recognise that poverty, religious and ethnic bigotry, human rights abuse and environmental degradation, with the resulting depletion of resources, greed, corruption, exclusivity and poor governance are the causes of tension, strife and violent conflicts in our country.
In his Easter massage, yesterday, Ugorji observed that faced with numerous trials and having had myriad shattered dreams and aborted hopes, “many Nigerians live in grief and desolation,” adding that “the prevailing disillusionment that reigns among our people mirrors the frustration felt by the disciples” at the excruciating passion and humiliating death of Jesus Christ.
According to Ugorji, as the country draws closer to another general elections, electoral office-seekers must embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and not to see a political contest as a do-or-die affair.
Similarly, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has called on Christians to use the opportunity provided by the Easter season to pray for peace and unity among all ethnic nationalities, to build a strong and just nation.
In his Easter massage, yesterday, in Abuja, the SGF urged Christians to emulate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his teaching on love, compassion, selflessness and tolerance in all their dealings.
Mustapha described the Crucifixion as the manifestation of God’s love for mankind to bring salvation, liberation, hope and a secured future.
He said: “On behalf of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), I felicitate Nigerians, particularly the Christian faithful, on the joyous occasion of Easter, which commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“While wishing Christians a hitch-free celebration, I wish to remind Nigerians to continue to adhere to all Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs), which include regular washing of hands with soap and wearing of masks in closed places. You should also take advantage of the on-going vaccination programme, as Nigeria has a variety of vaccines at various locations across the country.”
Also, Governor Muhammad Yahaya of Gombe State has urged Christians to use the Easter festivity to pray against insecurity and other menaces facing Nigeria.
In his goodwill message, yesterday, he said “there is no better time to seek God’s face than now.”
According to a statement by his Director General, Media and Press Affairs, Ismail Misilli, the governor urged Christians to continue to pray fervently against the socio-economic and security challenges in the country.
“We are indeed in a trying moment. But I am optimistic that with collective commitment, sacrifice and by turning to God through prayers, we shall overcome all the trials and emerge stronger,” he said.
While wishing the Christian faithful a peaceful and joyous Easter, the governor charged Christian leaders to “preach peace, tolerance and good neighbourliness among the people.”
Yahaya described the paschal season as an opportunity for strengthening unity of purpose, reinforcing the bond of brotherhood and dedication in service to God and humanity as exemplified by Jesus Christ.