Embrace 2022 with positive mindset, trust God, Martins tells Nigerians
As Nigerians enter the New Year today, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins has admonished them to be optimistic and embrace the year with a positive mindset and renewed trust in God Almighty.
In his New Year message signed by the Director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu, Martins admitted that there were indeed numerous challenges that characterised the outgoing year for the country as a whole and for the majority of Nigerians.
He, however, urged Nigerians to look beyond the shortfalls of the past and approach 2022 with positive expectations.
Advising Nigerians to shun every attempt to create fear and apprehension by the predictions of doom being circulated in the social media space, the cleric said they should simply be full of prayers and commit all experiences to God rather than dwell on such predictions that could only lead to depression and further mental anguish.
He said: “We thank the good Lord for making it possible for us to see the New Year. As we celebrate, let us remember our brothers and sisters who passed on during the year, thereby ending their earthly journey. We pray that their souls find lasting peace with God.”
He added: “For those of us who are still alive, let us remember the admonition of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace to us: not to fret or fear over tomorrow, but to live with the courage and belief that each day is in the hands of God, and He has the blueprint by which He will make our lives better in the coming year. On our part, we must do that which is right and good towards our neighbours, living in peace and harmony with everyone. We must not allow the predictions of doom and other challenges that we face to lead us question the presence of God even in our circumstances. He is able to turn around all things for good.”
Martins also cautioned the political class in positions of leadership, particularly the executive arm of government, to be more proactive in addressing the fears being expressed by many Nigerians.
He said: “There are very many issues plaguing the nation and agitating the minds of citizens. These call for the urgent attention of our rulers, especially the Legislature and the Executive. The most pressing on people at this time is in the area of insecurity, which claimed thousands of lives in the outgoing year. It is such a serious problem that the Federal Government needs to explore new and better ways of dealing with this issue in such a way that Nigerians would be assured of better security in the new year.”
According to him, “another area of concern that touches people every single day is the economy. The inflation level is too high even as the value of our currency is nose-diving daily. We can all feel the consequences of the high inflation rate and the value of our currency that has nose-dived. As we begin 2022, the Federal Government must take further steps to reappraise its economic policies and inject fresh ideas to cushion the effects of the harsh economy on the masses and mitigate the suffering that would arise from the projected economic challenges of the New Year.”
On the COVID-19 pandemic and its new Omicron strain, the Archbishop commended the Federal Government for its efforts so far in curtailing its spread. He implored Nigerians to embrace COVID-19 vaccination in order to reduce the rate of infection and ensure that the effects are light even if one contracts the virus, reminding all to be mindful of the presence of the pandemic as they begin the new year.
“Unfortunately, we still have to battle the pandemic in this New Year. Let us start each day with prayerful optimism and go about our daily activities with utmost caution and in strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols. Thus, as we pray for divine intervention, we must also be prepared to work hard and do the needful since heaven helps those who help themselves,” he said.
While urging the government to do more in addressing the health care needs of Nigerians, Martins advocated for improved funding in the area of research and development in the health sector in order to buoy local production of drugs and vaccines to reduce over-reliance on foreign aid.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to leave any stone unturned in his efforts at safeguarding the lives and properties of Nigerians in the new year, advising that he should, where necessary, inject fresh personnel with first-rate minds in the top hierarchy of our security Agencies.