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Onaiyekan urges Ekiti people to remain peaceful


Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan

Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has urged the people of Ekiti to remain peaceful.

The archbishop made the appeal in an interview with journalists at the launch of Priests got Talents’ technology platform, founded by Rev. Fr John Oluoma in Abuja.

The avoidance of violence, he said, was necessary irrespective of the people’s misgivings about the outcome of the governorship election.

Onaiyekan recalled the gesture of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who in 2015 demonstrated very unusual action by conceding defeat to Muhammadu Buhari, even when many other people had gone to court.

He canvassed a time when Nigeria would conduct an election that everybody would agree was free and fair.

He said: “This has been our problem in Nigeria. After elections, it has been very rare for everybody to accept that it was free and fair.”

The cleric expressed concern at the performance of policemen, noting that those deployed to maintain peace during elections are supposed to be neutral by serving everybody.

He restated that the Priests Got Talent show was a way of making the youths to feel at home in the church.

Also, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Anselem Umoren, commended the initiative of Fr. Uluoma in the pet programme.

He said the church would encourage the Priest Got Talent show, because it would help people to grow in their faith.

He added that it would make people to know that priests are not just reading the bible and preaching the gospel, but that they also have other talents.

Umoren said through the project, they are hoping to establish a studio that would help young people to improve their talents.

He said this was most relevant in cases where such people may not be able to do it somewhere else, if they don’t have the money.

He said with the studio idea, young people would be encouraged and given the platform to showcase their talents.

Still on election, he said: “I don’t know whether the massive presence of the police actually helped in the conduct of election or not.”

He expressed delight that young priests were coming out to showcase their talents, and appealed to Nigerian youths to express their talents without thinking of what they could get from it.

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John Onaiyekan
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