Lagos – Most Rev. Adebayo Akinde, the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos Mainland, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, on Sunday advised Nigerians to demonstrate high sense of patriotism in the 2015 general elections.
Akinde, who is also the Archbishop of the Lagos Province, said this at the closing ceremony of the Second Session of the Third Synod at All Saints Anglican Church, Yaba, Lagos.
According to him, the political class needs to be reminded that no one’s political ambition is worth the blood of one single Nigerian.
“The electioneering campaign should be conducted with utmost civility.
“There should be no room for undue ethnic or religious jingoism. Inflammatory and inciting statements should be guided against,’’ he said.
The cleric urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the opportunity of the next general elections to prove that it was committed to conducting hitch-free polls.
“INEC must be encouraged to conduct free and fair election. Political parties should co-operate with the commission by ensuring that their members play by the rules,’’ Akinde said
The cleric also urged Nigerians to shun violence and show love to one another.
He said Christians should not pay evil with evil, adding that Christians should continually pray for the unity of the nation.
The cleric said the Federal Government should use every instrument at its disposal to fight evil and maintain the peace in the country.
“Today, some parts of the country are gripped by hatred and violence; government should use every instrument of power that God has conferred on it to ensure that this nation defeats violence.
“We must never return hatred for hatred; the way to conquer terror and evil is not for us to return hatred to the path of the enemy.
“This is the time to have the strength in faith to show love even to those who hate us,’’ Akinde said.
The cleric said it was time for Nigerians to make sacrifices for the growth of the country.
According to him, leaders alone will not take Nigeria to where it aspires to be if citizens do not seek divine intervention.
On corruption, he said that vice was endemic in the country and charged leaders to have the fear of God and trust Him.
Akinde said the solution to the problems in the country would be found largely by a change of attitude by the citizenry “rather than change of policies and the constitution’’.
“We need a change of heart and not change of policies and constitution. It is not the constitution that has been corrupted, but the man.
“The constitution did not abandon projects; the man did,’’ he said. (NAN)