From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Bishop on the Niger, Rt Rev Dr Owen Nwokolo, has expressed concern over what he described as the derailing, gloomy and chaotic state of the country, calling on the federal government to deal with the present crisis quickly before it worsens.
He condemned in strong terms the incessant killings of unarmed and innocent Nigerians by people suspected to be militant Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorists, and pleaded for the respect of the sanctity of the human life.
Bishop Nwokolo said this in his 2021 Easter message. He regretted the number of lives and magnitude of property which he said Nigeria had lost to terrorism and brigandage in the past few years.
The bishop called on Christians, Muslims and all ethnic groups in the country to use the period of the Easter holiday to make peace among themselves.
According to him, Easter, as a time of sober reflection, should be judiciously used by both Christians and Muslims to make peace and seek the face of God collectively and individually in order for there to be positive changes in the Nigeria’s political, economic and social life.
Assuring Nigerians that all hope is not lost, Bishop Nwokolo explained that as Jesus Christ suffered, was buried and later resurrected, so would the country some day stablise after decades of decay and turbulence.
He berated both the government and politicians for the country’s many woes, adding that if Nigerians would diligently seek the face of God, forsake evil and obey the commandments of God, that God would soon turn around the fate of the masses irrespective of what they had suffered.
The bishop also frowned at the escalating cost of essential commodities in the country and the steady fall in the value of the naira, all of which he said are responsible for the present hardship in the country.
While lamenting the degree of economic hardship which he said most Nigerians are currently passing enduring, the bishop called on the federal government to find a way urgently to find a solution.
‘The present high cost of living in the country is very worrisome and unacceptable. Many families today find it difficult to have two square meals a day; even the recent petrol price hike and that of electricity have compounded the people’s plight. Government should be cautious in the issue of petroleum subsidy and the interest of the Nigerian masses should be of utmost consideration while negotiating the removal or otherwise of the subsidy,’ the bishop remarked.
‘I encourage Nigerians to anchor their faith in God always and not to be afraid of tomorrow irrespective of seeming political, economic and social instability and uncertainty in the country.
‘God is not forgetful of His people. He knows what we are passing through in this country. At the appointed time, at the right moment, our God will meet us at the points of our various needs,” Bishop Nwokolo further assured Nigerians.’
Bishop Nwokolo prayed for good governance in the country and for absolute peace to reign amongst its religious and ethnic groups, wishing Nigerians the joy and blessings of the Easter season.