From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev Valerian Maduka Okeke, has urged Nigerians to dream and work for a better country where brotherhood will be the norm.
In a Christmas message delivered at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, on Thursday, Archbishop Okeke said that in spite of the realities and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession and near hopeless situation generated by massive unemployment, violence and youth restiveness, there is a better future to look out for.
He said Nigerians should dream of a future where Boko Haram, bandits and men of violence will be things of the past, totally repugnant to the sensibilities and modus operandi of the young and old of the present.
The Archbishop said the Venerable Fathers of the Second Vatican Council have advised that peace, though a gift from God, requires human positive consistent actions.
‘Let us today embark on actions that will bring peace. Let us dream of peace, plan for peace and make peace actions our habit. If you can dream it, with God you can make it happen. For nothing is impossible with God. May God bless us with a more peaceful Nigeria and a better world filled with peace through Christ our Lord,’ he prayed.
Embrace love and thank God for his many blessings – Bishop Ezeokafor
In the same vein, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor has described Christmas as a celebration of the love of God and humanity urging Nigerians to make love a central theme in all their actions.
Speaking at the St Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, during an interactive session with reporters, Bishop Ezeokafor said that God in his infinite goodness decided to reconcile man to Himself by sending His only begotten son, Jesus Christ who also in love gave Himself and took human nature to redeem man.
He asked Nigerians to open their hearts for reconciliation with God and their neighbours and also in that spirit of love share what we have with others.
Bishop Ezeokafor also cautioned Nigerians not to celebrate the Christmas as if it was their last on earth but be mindful that the New Year comes with its own challenges which must be surmounted too.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in Nigeria as it affects governance and security cautioning the Federal Government not to mortgage Nigeria’s future with excessive borrowing.
He said it has become imperative to appoint new Service Chiefs noting that the serving ones presently have exhausted all their action plans.
He called on the government to rescue the naira from its free fall in the international exchange rate and also diversify the Nigerian economy by making further strong boost in agriculture instead of depending on the monolithic oil economy.