From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, on Sunday, offered suggestions on how Nigeria can achieve positive changes as regards governance and other indices of national growth and development.
Archbishop Kaigama, in a homily delivered at St. Matthew’s Pastoral Area, Paso, Abuja, said that if Nigerians can avoid politics of pleasure and the tendency of leadership without sacrifice, practise self-emptying; uproot every sinful habit and seek to be renewed in mind, spirit, soul and body, the clamor for positive change will be possible and achieved sooner than expected.
He observed that many things that trouble Nigerians, notably, discrimination, crime, insecurity, moral decadence, poverty, disease, hunger, etc, could easily throw the people into depression and misery, hence the advise for periodic mental health education.
He, thus, suggested that Nigerians take the issues to God in prayer and seek His help as ‘the Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit’, urging Nigerians to always pay attention to the voice of God in their consciences.
He said that the degree of rot and blatant misuse of public resources of the country was because many, especially political leaders, have allowed their conscience to die, and they see no wrong in their bad or evil actions, and also rationalize sin and crime.
“Dying to self is the only way a new Nigeria will germinate and grow, free from the dominion of sin and criminality; to produce patriotic citizens who do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility, regard others as better than themselves; looking not only for their interests but the interests of fellow Nigerians.
“Unfortunately, leaders want others to die for their political ambitions; while they are comfortable with their families at home or their children well protected abroad. It’s only by dying to self that good governance can be entrenched and positive legacies endure, just as Jesus in dying became the source of eternal life.”
As Easter period fast approaches, Archbishop Kaigama charged Christians to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who conquered sin and death by offering His life for mankind. “The Stations of the Cross we pray especially during Lent are an eloquent reminder and a declaration that through the Cross, we can be
exalted and glorified with Christ.”