By CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI — Imo State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, and religious leaders in the state have admonished Nigerians to demonstrate forgiveness, love for one another and continue to pray for peace to triumph over violence in the country.
For the governor, Easter celebration will be meaningless if Nigerians did not demonstrate forgiveness, love for one another, tolerance, hatred for evil and appreciation for everything good.
Okorocha, who made the appeal in his 2014 Easter message, also urged all Nigerians, especially Imo people, to forgive one another and show love to all, like Christ.
“Corruption, greed, killing and maiming one another, rape, selfishness, clannishness, or division were never parts of the reasons that made Jesus to die on the cross and resurrected. Nigerians are advised to shun these evils,” Okorocha pleaded.
He said with unity of purpose and love for one another, the Boko Haram menace could become a thing of the past, pointing out that Nigeria did not need ethnic considerations to achieve greatness, but unity on the parts of the citizenry.
He called on Nigerians to pray for Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, over the 2015 general elections and for politicians to wittingly shun rigging.
In their separate messages, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace, Dr. Anthony Obinna, the Anglican Bishop of Okigwe South Diocese, Rev. David Onuoha and General Overseer of Charismatic Renewal Ministries, Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, stressed the need for all to be holy in all spheres of life.
“God is not unmindful of the terrible and difficult times we are going through in our nation today. The ever worsening cases of insecurity in the land, coupled with the prevailing hardship, unemployment and poverty, should not drive us into doing the wrong thing,” the Anglican bishop said.
He noted that Easter challenged and encouraged all to persevere and remain resolute on the part of truth, justice and peace.
In his own message, Dr Ilechukwu said Easter proclaimed hope in a world ridden with conflicts and discrimination, adding that the season also invited all to reflect on how people have appropriated the love of God as individuals and to what extent they had let that love radiate through them to others, in form of compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation.
“May the love of God revealed a Easter be a powerful incentive to us as Nigerians to learn to live together and harmoniously, even in our obvious diversities,” Ilechukwu prayed.
Archbishop Obinna reminded Nigerians that they had a vocation to be holy in every sphere of life, including business, politics, government, teaching, science, technology, medicine, priesthood, military and religious life.