By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – As Nigeria joins other countries around the globe to celebrate entrance into the New Year, clergymen in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on citizens to embrace peace and also put their hope in God as desideratum for the enjoyment of the greatness year 2018 holds for the nation.
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, in his New Year message appealed to Nigerians to serve God more than ever before.
He called on them to pray that peace, progress and unity will pervade the length and breadth of the country; stressing that great exploits will only be achieved through unity of purpose, brotherhood and peace.
He said: “I am among those who literally think we should befriend those who disagree with us. We have to make peace with everybody; so that we can experience peace in our nation and in our world.
“If every Nigerian decides to take on an attitude of goodwill to all men and women, then peace will reign in our land.
“We should stop keeping long faces, stop name-calling, and quit spreading propaganda that divides us and breeds hatred for one another. Rather, we should do all we can to realize that we are all children of the same God irrespective of our difference in religion, language or ethnic background. This is a simple message; one that I believe is practicable.”
In a similar vein, the President, FCT Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Israel Akanji, urged Nigerians to enter 2018 with great hope that God has greater things to do for the nation.
“God will surprise us and make Nigeria a better place and I am sure that, in 2018, we will experience the kind of peace that we have not had before.
“My message to the church today is that there are possibilities in the New Year. Everybody should enter 2018 with that mindset and have faith in God and trust that He will use our leaders to make Nigeria a great nation.
“Stop speaking negative things about Nigeria. Greater things are yet to come and we will enter them in 2018.
“Even as a nation, Nigeria, we are so blessed that we do not even know the extent of what we have. Because it is only God who knows and if we put our trust in God, we will begin to operate on new levels and begin to see God reveal to us things that have been concealed in creation. Things we might not have known before.”
On his part, the Chairman, Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Abuja District, Pastor Michael Olatunde, said Nigerians should be hopeful that God who saw them through the year 2017 will be there for them in 2018, saying “the thought the Lord is having for Nigeria are thoughts of good and not of evil.”
“I want us to support the President. Nigeria is bigger than any of us. So, let us continue praying for him. Nigeria is going to be great,” he added.