From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Most. Rev. Calistus Onaga today berated the ruling class over the persistent insecurity in the country, charging them to ensure that the menace ended with the year 2020.
Speaking in Enugu during his Christmas message, Bishop Onaga lamented the level of uncertainty in the country and how banditry, kidnapping and molestations have been allowed to reign freely in the country to the detriment of the citizenry.
The Bishop who said Nigerians should celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the redeemer this year with in humble adoration especially as God did not bring the full force of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria however, expressed regret that people were taking the graciousness of God for granted as they live and move about as if the disease does not exist.
Looking into the expectations of 2021, Onaga said Nigerians and especially the leaders must brace up in many ways in the coming year.
He said, “At this point I will prefer to talk to the ruling class, those ruling us. We have seen the problem we are in, in 2020, 2021 should make a lot of difference. Those who have authority, do your best to make sure that you protect the common citizen from the rude shocks of the effects of 2020. What do I mean? You have seen the problem of insecurity and this insecurity seems to be growing.
“Why is it that people are not really sure of where they are going and how they are moving? We have given free reign to banditry; we have given free reign to kidnapping, we have giving free reign to all kinds of molestations and insults. How would we explain that more than 400 school children got lost and reappeared again in a government and all of us are just saying thanks be to God they came back. How were they released?
“Such a story should not be heard in 2021. Let us come into 2021 determined to really protect and do our work as those who are the architects of governance. I am appealing to those taking care of us, all of us are not armed, all of us have not been given that social contract to take care of the rest of the people. We have submitted our will to you by voting you in, make use of that assembled will and protect the citizenry.
“This issue of insecurity should be put to a stop. How can a small group be dictating for the rest of the country? How can a group so notorious be dictating the life of a whole nation with all the facets of goodness, facets of talents, facets of even money we have?
“Let us not be working against ourselves, I am talking to the major parties and I have to call names now, PDP be careful, APC be careful. What do I mean by that? There is no need playing politics with life, playing politics with basic amenities, playing politics with our security, from both sides.
“All of us know what is going on, please stand up to your responsibilities in 2021, you’re already forecasting it, everybody knows that as a result of this pandemic the economy is going to be very, very severe. Already my dear people ruling us, how can it be that even the federal workers cannot earn their salaries for months. This is unheard of. We are borrowing money, borrowing money, borrowing money, what plans have we to pay back.”
Dwelling on his Christmas message he said, “We know that Christmas 2020 is like none that we have experienced having passed through the very deadly disease that was not just epidemic but pandemic. Not just little influenza but very, very mortal, taking lives of people, Coronavirus.
“Nigeria may be close to that kind of lockdown looking at what is happening. That is why I said, if the Lord Jesus Christ who came to redeem man is being celebrated but amidst this kind of tragedy, amidst this kind of uncertainty, amidst this kind of suffering by humanity, and it has to be so probably God is trying to call attention of humanity to himself.
“If those diseases that have defiled all human science and all human efforts and power continue then even up to Christmas, so many will not see Christmas Carol very happily. Unfortunately my dear people of Nigeria, we are taking God’s graciousness for granted, we are taking God’s love for granted, because we are not doing what we are supposed to do to help the things God had provided for us.”