Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Revd (Dr) Ignatius Kaigama, has expressed his desire of a new year free of violence, conflict, religious fundamentalism, ethnic tension, political bitterness and rancour.
He bemoaned the level of corruption in the country, regretting that corruption had taken over every facet of the country’s national life.
The immediate past President of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) stated this in his new year message in Abuja.
Kaigama further said like Biblical Zacchaeus, all corrupt Nigerians must seek genuine repentance.
In the New Year message, Kaigama also asked government to give priority to the weaker members of the Nigerian society.
“I wish to see a New Year free of violence, conflict, religious fundamentalism, ethnic tension and political bitterness/rancour.
“I wish to see priority by government given to the weaker members of our society: the children, widows, prisoners, unemployed youths, the aged, the poor and the needy.
“It is no compliment that we are tagged ‘the poverty capital of the world.’
“Let Nigerians see and experience true reconciliation and genuine patriotism. Repentance must come from all corrupt Nigerians in the manner of Zacchaeus as we read in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 19,” Kaigama said.
Kaigama further said kidnapping and shedding of innocent blood should never become a hobby, adding that “it scares people away from our beloved and well- endowed country.”
Kaigama also said corruption had become a science, practised with such dexterity on the highways, in offices, in sacred places, in sensitive segments of government and among security bodies.
“It has found roots even in children and the youths, courtesy of unexemplary leaders.
“For contracts awarded to companies or individuals, public officials expect a huge share from the funds allocated so much so that the contract sum is eaten into and the quality of work done is always greatly compromised, which is responsible for bad jobs such as very poor roads built which develop gullies and valleys after a short time of their being constructed.
“Many Nigerians think first of themselves instead of the common good. Even with the best policies, and all the necessary resources given, the corrupt culture does not allow honesty to be our policy and this frustrates infrastructural development and the huge potentials we have to be an economic life wire at the global level,” Kaigama lamented.
Kaigama called on Nigerian youths to wake up and change this negative mentality.
He urged the youths to take their destiny into their hands through a positive non-violent moral revolution.
“Youths wake up. Change this negative, narcissistic mentality and the culture of egocentricity. Generate a positive non-violent moral revolution. Do not wait for the elders or to be elected into state or national assemblies, or to get the juicy positions of governor or president, else you will have to wait for ever.
“However, avoid violence, drugs and anti-social behaviour so as to be able to think well and to give the best of your talents and energy to this nation, for your good. I know you are frustrated by the non-chalant attitude of leaders in positions of authority who care little about your welfare. Do what you can for yourselves positively and patiently. God dey!
“My prayerful optimism: By God’s grace, the general elections in 2019 will be free of violence and manipulation. God will cripple and frustrate the intentions of those who intend to win by hook or by crook. Only those truly elected by the people should be declared winners. Help us God. Take absolute control please. With you all things are possible. Nigeria will be among the greatest nations one day!” Kaigama declared.