By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA —THE Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John-Cardinal Onaiyekan, has challenged politicians to put an end to lips service and work selflessly and in the fear of God so that the development of the nation could be achieved.
He gave the challenge at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Catholic Pro-Cathedral, Abuja during the mass to mark his 35th anniversary as a bishop and the ordination of nine priests at Abuja, weekend.
Onaiyekan was ordained bishop on January 6, 1983 at the age of 38 by late Pope John Paul II in Rome.
“In the readings of today, God is telling all of us his people that those at the frontline must be servants of all. Politics is not supposed to be aimed at gaining power for selfish interest,” he said.
Cardinal Onaiyekan also charged all Nigerians to be more involved in politics, saying: “Every citizen must be involved in politics, even Reverend Fathers and Cardinal. I am involved in politics.
“Only people who are irresponsible will say they are not interested, even if you are not interested in politics, politics will be interested in you. If we are to ask now, how many Nigerians are card carrying members of political parties, I am not sure we will be up to 10 per cent.”
The clergyman, who maintained that the peace and unity of Nigeria cannot be achieved through the use of arms and ammunition alone, called on citizens to pray for the peace and unity of the country.
Meanwhile, the Archbishop advised the newly ordained priests to be truthful at all times, adding that their priestly call was a gift from God which should not be taken with levity.