From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye has challenged religious leaders in Nigeria to publicly condemn the series of ills that are currently bedeviling the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria.
Bishop Ajakaye, who made the call in Abeokuta, in a homily he delivered at the Episcopal Ordination/Enthronement of Msgr. Peter Kayode Odetoyinbo as the second Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, noted that all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious or ethnic background, must rise and obey the clarion call against ungodly and selfish motives.
He described all problems confronting the nation as “trying times’, stressing that “we must not give room for anti-democracy forces to undermine our cherished collective identity”, adding that “united we stand, divided we fall”.
The cleric insisted that prayers by the church alone would not solve the myriads of problems confronting the country, pointing out that the time has come for the church to fashion out practical ways of solving the problems.
He listed series of problems facing the country, as a nation, to include unemployment, terrorism, armed robbery, dearth of moral consciousness and “pen robberies”, among others.
“In this light, I humbly enjoin our Church, the Catholic, which has been praying consistently for the nation to fashion out practical ways of addressing the myriads of problems in Nigeria”, Ajakaye said.
“Not to speak out is to lose out. For today and posterity, we must keep talking when necessary and be pro-active in our words and deeds. Above all, there is need to walk the talkof our prayer”.
“This is not the period for timidity. In fact, we need to begin to speak out against every form of evil. The church has a meaningful role to play in the struggle for a true united Nigeria where the rule of law, peace and justice will be upheld as the world is watching the scenarios unfolding in Nigeria.
“Instead of colluding with the military or civilian dictatorship to exploit the people or remaining silent in fear, we, as a people, need to come together and take necessary steps that will help the nation to regain her lost glory and prowess”.
Amosun, who was represented by the state’s commissioner for women affairs and social development, Mrs. Elizabeth Sokunbi, appealed to the new Bishop to join the government in its efforts in re-building the state, stressing that the government could not do it alone.