BENIN CITY: Edo State Government Mr. Godwin Obaseki urges the church to play its role in the unity of Nigeria today particularly as the nation is being assaulted on many fronts from hate speech, separatist agitation, insurgency, unemployment and corruption.
He made this known while delivering his good will message at the grand finale of the first national Marians year and third Marian Congress held in Benin City, the Edo State Capital.
Obaseki said the Catholic Church is an oasis of peace and therefore the country needs the Church today more than ever calling on her to continue to pray for Nigeria and speak truth to power.
“We are grateful to God and the Church for the continuous work of restructuring our minds as a people. If we as a nation fully accept the message of our Lady of Fatima and committed to her message of repentance, we would need less of political restructuring. If we add more of love and less of self, to our leadership, Nigeria would be more united and better developed”.
The governor said his administration is committed to reforms in education and primary heath care. “We are focused on revamping vocational and technical education. These are commitments that we share with the Catholic Church”.
The Arch Bishop of Onisha Archdiocese Arch. Bishop Valeria Maduka Okeke whose homily was cantered around reasons why we should love Mother Mary said the holy family of Joseph and Mary teamed up to save infant Jesus from Herod.
Reading from Gal 4:4, Luke 1; 28 and John 2:3 said God came to us through Mary saying that mother Mary is an epiphany. “Mary is full of grace; she intercedes for us; search for her lost child; has special love for the trinity; she was chosen by God because she found favour with God”.
He said the conference is all about praying for peace and consecration of Nigeria and her citizens.
The president of Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama welcome Catholic and none Catholic alike to the all important conference which was last held in 1954.
He said this is an opportunity to pray for the nation as she needs prayers assuring the 26,833 members and guest at the conference that God will heal Nigeria and spare her from all forms of destructions.
“70 per cent of Nigerians live below two dollars per day. There is a lot of hunger and poverty in the land. I call on all of us especially our leaders to entrust the nation to God who has the capacity to ensure that peace and unity transverse across the length and breathe of the nation”.