Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon Philip Shaibu, on Wednesday joined the Catholic faithful all over the world to observe Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the Lenten season.

The Ash Wednesday Mass to herald the season was held at the Government House Chapel, Benin City, with hundreds of worshippers in attendance.

In a chat with journalists shortly after the Holy Mass, the deputy governor charged believers to live a life of selfless service to humanity and be generous to all in whatever situation they find themselves in this Lenten season, especially as Nigeria gets into a crucial general election.

“Ash Wednesday is a day of dedication and repentance when Christians confess their sins and profess their devotion to God Almighty,” Shaibu said.

According to him, Ash Wednesday is significant as it marks the start of the Lenten period leading to Easter season, a sacred period during which Christians celebrate the death and ressurection of Jesus Christ.

He stated that ash symbolizes death and repentance.

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“During this period, we show repentance and mourning for our sins because we believe Christ died for us. Not just that, we believe we were born dust, so we shall also return to dust. That is why when the priest applies the cross of ashes, he says to us: ‘Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return’,” he said.

In his homily, the officiating priest, Rev. Fr.Andrew Obiyan, enjoined Christians to reconcile with God.

“When people repent from their sins, and turn a new leaf, they use ashes to symbolize their repentance,” Obiyan said.

Reminding believers on the need to give alms to the needy, he noted that salvation can only be guaranteed if Christians rededicate themselves to the service of God.

He called on Nigerians to elect leaders who have the interest of the people at heart.