By Cosmas Omegoh
The Catholic Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Dr Alfred Adewale Martin, has expressed a strong wish to see a new Nigeria where no one is oppressed, equitable, united Nigeria that would be fair to all.
He challenged Catholic priests to bear in mind that they are agents of change and reorientation, urging them to work to see a new Nigeria happen.
Archbishop Martins spoke at the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria Catholic Priests’ Association (NCDPA), an umbrella body of all indigenous diocesan Catholic priests drawn from all the Catholic dioceses across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja.
The event is holding at St Leo’s Catholic Church, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos; it will last from October 15, to October 29, 2021.
In his homily at the Holy Mass attended by the Archbishop Emeritus of the Lagos Province, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode, Most Rev Francis Obafemi Fasina, representatives of the Lagos State government, the state chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Lagos Traditional Council, Archbishop Martins warned the priests to be careful about setting up their own private ministries.
“We pray that the church will emerge from an equitable nation where none will be oppressed and that the nation will live in love and unity.
“We pray that the strategies that will be discussed at this meeting will bring about re-orientation to the citizenry.
“Priests as leaders of the church, should spearhead a re-orientation of the people. Therefore, you must know your duties and obligations as priests to lead the people because every priest is chosen from among brothers and sisters, fellow servants and pilgrims.”
Speaking shortly after the Holy Mass, the president of NCDPA, Rev Fr Sylvester Omoke from the Catholic Diocese of Oturkpo, Benue State, said the essence of the group is for Nigerian diocesan priests to come together and forge a common front in propagating the gospel, lamenting how priests had been killed and kidnapped over the past years.
More than 300 Catholic priests are taking part at the event.