In his 2017 Christmas message made available to Saturday Vanguard by the Archdiocesan Director of Social Communications, Rev. Monsignor Gabriel Osu, the Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has reiterated that for Nigeria to successfully toe the path of growth and development, it must, of essence, be restructured along true federalism as the current bloated structure of governance had become obsolete.
Archbishop Martins warned that any attempt by the political class to jettison the full restructuring of the country as is being clamoured for by the masses and members of the civil societies, would not only set the nation back, but may equally constitute a clog in the wheel of the successful execution of the 2019 elections.
While noting with dismay that the political class, including the ruling party has since commenced their usual flurry of activities ahead of the 2019 election, Archbishop Martins called on Nigerians not to allow themselves to be deceived anymore by mere rhetoric and promises but to insist on the building of appropriate and realistic political structures that would help guaranty that they enjoy access to good quality of life and self actualization in line with God’s plans for His creatures.
“We need to be true to ourselves. We cannot be talking of 2019 when little is being done at the moment to address the rot in the system. Our people are going hungry daily, our youths are dying in their quest for better options to life outside our shores and yet our leaders appear more concern with how to cling to power.
“I think the time has come for all of us to reason together to resolve and restructure the lopsided political structures we are currently operating and set up realistic goals that would help move us forward. Except all these are given top priority, I fear that the 2019 election may end up a mirage, after all,” Archbishop Martins warned.
In his own message, the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Revd. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo said the message and the lessons of Christmas must be appropriated to the salvation in our land, “we must see hope that Christ brought to the world and must rise together to overcome our challenges as we first set our priorities right, Christ is the reason for Christmas.”
He lamented that in our today’s world, “especially our nation Nigeria, the myriad of problems and challenges are evident everywhere, ranging from neglect, suffering, poverty, diseases, robbery, kidnapping, communal clashes, religious war, political fracas, insurgency violent and natural disasters are fast becoming part of our everyday lives.”
He maintained that a careful look into the purpose of the birth of Christ shall reveal the importance of peaceful government. “This should be a challenge to our government and those in power, those seeking powers and our political institutions to pursue peace. It is clear that, globally the world needs. In our various communities, states and at national levels, we need peace it is only in the atmosphere of peace that, meaningful development can strive and spread across our nation Nigeria,” he stated.
He maintained that the provision of adequate security arrangement by the Federal and state governments must not be compromised at any time, stressing that the legislative arms of government should apply their constitutional powers of making laws to ensure adequate provision are being made in the budget for the security institutions and agencies.
Noting that in various communities, states and at national levels, “we need peace. It is only in the atmosphere of peace that, meaningful development can strive and spread across our nation Nigeria,” pointing out “our government should work with the governments of the neighbouring countries like Chad, Niger, Cameroun and the international community to stamp out insurgenc.