Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
As Christians celebrate the 2018 Christmas, Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has charged Nigerians at all levels to be vanguards of truth at all times.
Ezeokafor in his Christmas message delivered at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, said Christmas which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ is incomparably greater than any other historical event that ever happened or could ever happen on earth.
The cleric noted that the Good News of redemption, vindication and liberation which Christmas signifies must be heralded courageously while Christians are much more reminded of their calling to be vanguards of truth, the truth of the Gospel, as John the Baptist was, even to the point of dying for it.
He described truth-telling as part of every Christian’s civic responsibility, noting that a Christian has the privilege of dual citizenship: a citizen of the Church and that of the state. He said part of a Christian’s civic responsibilities is courageous witnessing to the truth revealed from of old, noting that truth has a vindicating, liberating, and redemptive power, thence, truth saves.
“If he enjoys the rights and privileges of both citizenship, the Church and the state, he should also be concerned with the fulfilment of the dual responsibilities arising there from.
“A nation perishes in corruption and injustice once its citizens are not courageous enough to call a spade a spade, and even unready to die in defense of the right cause. It is part of our civic obligations to absolutely make conscientious contributions rather than being sentimental regarding electing good leaders imbued with fear of God and who have the prerequisite competence demanded of their office.
“Our PVC is our mandate and empowerment for this. It is, indeed, a great weapon necessary for the casting of our votes at this time, to wage war against bad leadership in the country. For without voting, one is powerless to effect changes and to contribute positively to the development of the society.
“Neglecting to secure PVC and to vote is sheer neglect of one’s civic duty towards the State, and failure to give Caesar his due. We must speak to our consciences and see our active participation as a response to God’s invitation to bear witness to Him among men and women of our time.
“As we celebrate the season during which we commemorate the birth of the true Son of God to redeem us from slavery to sin, let us cooperate with Him by conscientiously playing our civic role, to see that we are really vindicated,” he said.