ABUJA – President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has for the umpteenth time asked politicians to play politics without bitterness just as he craved for violent-free elections.
Senator Mark said at the commencement of this year’s Christian Lenten season at the St. Mulumba Catholic Chaplaincy in Abuja yesterday that “decency is required in our polity”.
Senator Mark bemoaned the growing violence trailing the forthcoming elections and reiterated that campaign rallies must not be turned into battlegrounds but rather, opportunities to articulate our programmes.
“We are to attack the problems and not persons. We are to tell our people what we have done and what we intend to do for them in a sincere and honest manner”.
Senator Mark urged Christians and all Nigerians alike to use the period of the Lenten season to work, pray and fast for the betterment of Nigeria.
He prayed specially that God almighty pardon the nation for its shortcomings and gives its leaders the wisdom and grace to do better in the future.
The Senate President canvassed that the message of reconciliation, conversion, renewal, which this season brings should spur us into action to work harmoniously with the people of different faiths, cultures and political affiliations in order to promote unity, peace, stability and progress.
Senator Mark stressed: “I will not relent in my call that violence must be stamped out of our society. I continue to strongly condemn the senseless killings of our people.”
He therefore urged that “we must continually and collectively create an atmosphere for dialogue, reconciliation, understanding and forgiveness.”
In his homily, the Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Innocent Jooji explained that the season demands good deeds such as prayer, fasting and almsgiving, especially to the less privileged.
Jooji asked Nigerian to renew faith in God as the ultimate for spiritual renewal and the needed transformation.
Meanwhile, in Benin City, Catholic faithful turned out in their large number at various catholic church locations to receive ash on their foreheads as a sign of being mortals, created from dust that must return to dust at death.
Speaking at the mass held at St. John Vianny Catholic Church along Sapele Road, Benin City, the officiating minister, Rev. Fr. Alfred Agbonlahor said the period is a time for Christians to reflect on their lives, alms giving to the less-priviledged, fasting and praying to God to attract divine attention from God.
He advised parishioners to be sincere and persevere during the Lenten season, while encouraging them to imbibe the culture of giving to the poor without expecting anything in return.
He described the poor as those persons who find it difficult to meet with the basic needs of life.
The Assistant Chaplain, St. Patrick Chaplaincy, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Rev. Fr. Kelvin Ibhaze in a telephone interview with The NIGERIAN OBSERVER explained that, “we must be first grateful to God for the gift of the Lenten season each year.”

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