Lawrence Enyoghasu, Lagos
The Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Reverend Alfred Adewale Martins, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to cry of the people and embrace dialogue to foster true peace in the country, adding that his silence on matters concerning Christians is increasing fear among the faithful.
Martins made the remarks at a press conference in Holy Cross Parish Catholic Cathedral in Lagos, while speaking on the 53rd World Day of Peace with the theme ‘Peace as a Journey of Hope: Dialogue, Reconciliation, and Ecological Conversion’. The Archbishop added that there cannot be peace in the country if there is injustice.
According to the cleric, peace can be attained in the country if elected leaders are selfless and responsive to the needs of the people, rather than engaging in self-serving projects like the renovation of the National Assembly.
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“Dialogue is a way of achieving true peace,” he said.
“When there is dialogue then the fear and the mistrust will dissipate, and then true peace can be achieved. Meanwhile, for true dialogue, there must be an understanding that all are equal and must be treated equally.
“Any leader can only get the best from its people if he dialogues with them… Dialogue can solve the issue the Islamic movement and other groups have with our nation if only our leaders would listen. As long as their leaders are being held it is natural that it will be difficult to have peace with these groups. I am hoping that our President will have a rethink on dialogue for the good of the nation.
“Scheduling N37 billion for renovating the National Assembly shows that the leaders are not considering the main problem of the people. If all our institutions were to get a fraction of that money, I believe Nigeria will be better and Nigerians will be better. The leaders need to rethink that again and feel the pulse of the nation,” he stated.
The Archbishop reiterated his Christmas message where he called for the release of hostage schoolgirl Leah Shaibu, stressing that Christians are feeling insecure in the country.
“The call for the fidelity of Leah Shaibu is personal and also a reminder to the government on the promises made to the people. It is no more about Leah now but also about what she represented. She represents the value of fidelity to whatever we believe in and especially to Christianity. Increasing recent situations affecting only Christians have increased the fears of Christians. It has given Christians a lot of concerns. The leadership of this country needs to give Christians a sense of security, the feeling of belonging. The leadership needs to assure Christians that we are not an endangered species,” he stated.