The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Rev. Alfred Martins, has urged Nigerians to seek divine guidance in the quest for peace in 2023, to ensure that the New Year is free from chaos and anarchy.
In a homily delivered at the 2023 New Year Mass, in which the 56th World Day of Peace was also celebrated, at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, the prelate thanked Almighty God for the gift of the New Year and charged all Nigerians to play active roles in the forthcoming general election by ensuring that they vote-in only God-fearing leaders, who are capable of leading the country towards the path of prosperity.
While admitting that Nigerians went through very turbulent experiences in the year 2022, Archbishop Martins noted that what the country needs now are God-fearing leaders who will wipe away the tears of the citizens.
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His words: “We need peace in Nigeria this 2023. Without peace, the forthcoming general elections would be a task in futility. I know many parts of the country are witnessing so much insecurity. That is why our security agencies must work round the clock to secure all parts of the country and ensure that all the criminal elements are brought to book.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that he will ensure that we have credible elections. I do not doubt that he means well. But he cannot do it all alone. We must all play our path by ensuring that we come out to vote for the right candidates and also make sure our votes count. That is a way of ensuring that our elections would be credible.”
Vote selling, buying, crime against humanity—Bishop Ajakaye
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Rev. Felix Ajakaye, yesterday, urged Nigerians to shun vote selling and vote buying.
The Catholic Bishop, in his New Year message titled ‘2023: Year of Practical Decision’, said vote selling and vote buying are sins, they are crimes against humanity.
Bishop Ajakaye said: “As individuals and groups, we must never allow the incessant inglorious vote selling and vote buying at this year’s elections.
“We must get back our beloved country, Nigeria, from the few who think they are owners. We, the people, are the original owners.”