By Chidi Nkwopara & Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI—Over 3,000 Catholics in Owerri Archdiocese, yesterday, defied the heavy down pour witnessed in the state, carried out a prayer rally to seek the face of God over the prevailing economic hardship facing Nigerian citizens.
Preaching the sermon, after the long procession from Villa Maria, Wethedral Road to Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Archbishop Anthony J. V Obinna, thanked God for the clement weather witnessed after the rain.
“ It is our sins and thoughtlessness that brought this nation to the current hardship and economic strangulation. We had hoped that our new leaders would have brought in new hopes and better governance but we are faced with one sided appointment into public offices “Archbishop Obinna said.
The Catholic cleric, also lamented that the citizens have continued to see a land scape of kidnapping, armed robbery and other serious crimes, even as corruption still persists.
“ The government is no longer seen as the panacea for the nation’s ills. It appears the Sharia law is gradually being hoisted on the rest of us from the back door” the Archbishop said.
While admitting that these are trying times for Nigerians, which is leading the citizenry into avoidable temptation, Archbishop Obinna commended Nigerians for what he called “ their resilience, despite the high degree of provocation.”
He lamented that Nigerian politicians have shown that they are not interested in the affairs of the nation, but they are only self actualization and aggrandizement.
“ ordinary citizens of this land have lost confidence in the political class. Many have sadly resorted to violence and self preservation” , Archbishop Obinna said.
On the current clamour for restructuring of the nation, the Bishop said, “ it has nothing to do with division or balkanization of the country”, stressing that it was rather a strident call for true democracy.
He urge the Federal government to heed to the yearnings of Nigerians, stressing that it was the only way the nation can avoid the dangerous slide to self destruction.
“President Mohammadu Buhari should please wake up because Nigerians are now shocked that he is no longer keeping his campaign promises.
“with what we have seen so far, the president cannot deny the allegation of nepotism and favouritism in his appointment. In 1978, one naira fetched the holder two America Dollars, but today, one Dollar goes for more than N420” the Archbishop lamented.