From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has raised the alarm that politicians are plotting to to pitch the two dominant religions in Nigeria, Christianity and Islam, against each other to achieve their goal in the 2023 poll.
The cleric in his homily at St. Peter’s Pastoral Areas, Jiwa, Abuja, yesterday, also alleged plots to pitch the north against the south ahead of the 2023 poll even as he expressed concern that many Nigerians, in the face of poverty and social deprivation understandably feel deserted and betrayed by government and have become apathetic or cynical to social or political issues.
He said: “Today, our collective and individual experiences in Nigeria have forced some of our youth to embark on a sad journey to “Emmaus” in the Diaspora, with the hope of finding greener pastures. They have been driven away from where they call home by an inhospitable social environment of corrupt governance, which robs them of their rights and privileges, as well as a high insecurity as manifested in the daily killings, kidnappings, among others.”
He recalled that at independence in 1960, Nigerians, especially the youths had hopes for a better country, for a nation that would meet their material and social needs, but regrettably, their hopes seem to be dashed by poor governance and the insensitivity of political leaders to issues of equity and merit.
He added: “Since independence, successive democratic and military leaders kept promising poverty alleviation by improving socio-economic conditions, but after over 60 years, we are not only still poor, but terribly unsafe.
“Even before 2023 comes, expensive strategizing and campaigns about who should be President, or governors or senators have kick-started in earnest, while strategies to improve the welfare of over 200 million Nigerians are in the back burner.
“To all Nigerians, we say, once there is life, there is hope. The best will come someday and somehow by the Grace of God to supersede the current seemingly hopeless situation in Nigeria. But as Christians, we must keep talking about Jesus and to Jesus.
“Unfortunately, many Christians no longer talk about or with Jesus because they are faced with material difficulties. They, instead talk about miracles and prosperity, encouraged by greedy preachers who capitalize on the people’s poor socio-economic conditions.
“In most families, very little time is given to the things of God as is given to socials. At home, almost everyone is fixated on their smart phones or computers, completely lost in the social media, oblivious of family members in the same room or even at meals. We rarely talk about Jesus in social gatherings or social media platforms, because we are ashamed that people may tag us ‘religious’.”