By Lawrence Olaoye
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has warned that Nigerians should not permit anyone in the country to exploit their fault lines to sow seeds of discord.
Osinbajo gave this warning yesterday at the Ecumenical Center at a service ahead of the inauguration ceremony for the President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term.
Also at the service, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan has counseled President Muhammadu Buhari to change his leadership style if Nigeria must recover from its current social-economic crises.
Osinbajo in his speech urged the Christians in the country to take the lead in giving hope to others while expressing the confidence that the nation’s future is bright.
He said “Our days will be better and better. This is the reason why I am so confident, our ministry is that of reconciliation. We must not permit anyone to take advantage of the fault lines. Our country stands at the threshold of phenomenal great, the end of the story light and joy. We begin with darkness and confusion but the end of our story is bright, the future of our nation is bright.”
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, in his message ”Let us chose life, not death, ” stressed that there was no more time for blame game which will definitely not take the country anywhere.
He said Nigeria was not in a state where anyone should rejoice.
”As we embrace a new term of government, it should be for us a new opportunity to change ways and review habits of governance, for a better Nigeria. We can and we should do this, God has endowed us with resources to achieve this, resources that we unfortunately turn into curses in point.”
According to Onaiyekan, for a positive change to happen in Nigeria, sincere change of leadership will also need to take place.
”The blame game of pointing accusing fingers at other will not carry us far. For a positive change to take place, we must all be ready for a sincere change of heart, from the lowest to uighest, but especially at the highest levels.
”Empty boast and bare faced denials of the realities around us can not build the nation, ” he added.
Onaiyekan stressed that it was important for Nigerian leaders to tell themselves the truth and accept failure.
”At this moment, we should do well to acknowledge our failure to do things the right way. Here the words of the Psalmist should challenge each of us ” If you oh Lord should mark our guilt, who would survive? We are in the house of God, and before God we must tell the truth. Th Lord Jesus has told us that ”The truth will make us free”.
According to him, while the rich are swinging in affluence, the number of poor Nigerians sadly continues to be on the increase But the handwriting on the wall is quite clear for all who care to see. It is sad that no condition is permanent: certainly not the present state of our nation.
”Our ethnic diversity is God’s will and gift that we ought to appreciate and celebrate. We should beware of those who seek to manipulate this in a game of divide and rule, for selfish interests.
In our emerging global world, we should be building on our long experience of living together across ethnic lines, if we are not to allow ourselves to be left behind in our fast developing modern world.”