LAGOS – The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, yesterday called on Nigerians to draw nearer to their creator in the New Year.
Martins, in a statement signed by Msgr Gabriel Osu, Director of Social Communication, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, urged Nigerians to be committed to the unity and peaceful co-existence of the country.
In the message, Martins said that most of the challenges plaguing the nation could be overcome through prayer, selflessness and tolerance of one another.
According to him, “ no nation can excel without the help of God; any nation that drives God to the background is only toying with doom.
He said that for Nigeria to move forward as a nation, we must put God first this New Year, so that His spirit of love, peace and joy would permeate the hearts of Nigerians and the roots of our nation.
Speaking on the forthcoming general elections, he urged Nigerians to be alive to their civic responsibilities by casting their votes in favour of only credible candidates with integrity.
He urged Nigerians to monitor and defend their votes at all costs, in order to ensure that only credible candidates are elected into positions of authority.
“The year 2015 offers us as a nation another opportunity to move forward democratically. We must eschew the politics of bitterness and acrimony.
“Most importantly, we cannot just fold our hands and expect manna to come down from heaven; we must be ready to defend our mandates so that the wrong people do not steal our votes.
“ For the political class, I urge them to shun violence and allow the wishes of the people to prevail. With the help of God, we shall succeed.”
While urging Nigerians to be faithful to their New Year resolutions, in spite of all odds, Archbishop Martins also called on the Federal Government not to give up hope in respect of the release of the abducted Chibok girls.
He urged them to explore all avenues of negotiations to ensure that the girls were released to their parents, as soon as possible.