Clerics preach love, hope at Christmas
As the world marks the birth of Jesus Christ on Sunday, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, General Superintendent of Assemblies of God Nigeria, Dr. Chidi Okoroafor and Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Bishop of Lagos, Most Revd (Dr.) Ephraim Adebola Ademowo have charged Nigerians to exhibit the virtues associated with the occasion.
In his goodwill message, Martins enjoined Christians to show love during the festive season. In a communication by the Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Msgr. Gabriel Osu, the Archbishop stressed that it was only by such charitable act that the true essence of Christmas would be better felt by everyone.
While admonishing Nigerians not to despair, Martins urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently rejig his government by infusing fresh blood where necessary with a view to stabilising the ailing economy as quickly as possible.
He pleaded for sustainable solutions to the clashes between herdsmen and locals in parts of the country.To Okoroafor, Christians must emulate Jesus Christ as their role model in everything they do, saying: “Christ is the reason for the celebration. He left the glories of heaven and sacrificially came to this battered earth because of His love for mankind. He was not selfish. As we celebrate Christmas, may we have leaders who will imbibe this virtue by identifying with the ordeal of the masses, sacrificing and not reclining in their personal wealthy enclave without thinking of the people they lead.”
Situating Nigeria’s on lip service, Okoroafor noted: “The problem of this generation is churchianity without Christ. As we reflect on this occasion, let us harness the treasures of Christmas.”
According to Ademowo, for the nation to overcome her backwardness, government must religiously fund education in a way to make it affordable by all, adding that qualitative education would go a long way in checking poverty, robbery, kidnapping, insurgency and other societal ills. He also urged parents to prioritise the training of their wards.
He noted that if children were exposed to the requisite training and knowledge, chances are less for them to fall prey to bad influences.In the same vein, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev (Dr.) Paulinus Ezeokafor, has beseeched Nigerians never to lose hope, insisting that the country would not collapse against all predictions.
In his Christmas and New Year message yesterday at St Patrick’s Cathedral Awka, Anambra State, urged the political class to always seek governance for the common good, adding that the nation would come out of the current crisis stronger.