By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has tasked political leaders to emulate Jesus Christ and place the well-being and survival of the people above their self-interest.
He made the appeal on Sunday when he featured in a special Easter programme organised by Lux Terra Leadership Foundation Abuja.
Speaking on the topic: ‘The Meaning of Easter and Implications for Christians’, Cardinal Onaiyekan accused some political leaders of caring less about the killings in their states so long as their personal ambitions to remain in power are not threatened.
He charged, “We expect leaders to prepare to pay the price of leading their people. Leadership should come with a cost.
“To out it bluntly, we are seeing too many leaders sitting around believing that it is better for the whole nation to perish than for them to leave office.”
On the persecution of Christians in Nigeria by those in power as alleged by some Church leaders within and outside the country, Onaiyekan urged believers to focus on their faith rather than worry over any Islamisation agenda as peddled in some circles.
He said, “Jesus said love your enemies. If you became a Christian and it didn’t challenge you in any new way. Then, probably, you’ve not seen it yet. It has to challenge you.
“Christians in Europe hear stories of our challenges with Islam and keep wanting to find out how we are coping, saying ‘We hear the Muslims are persecuting you’. I tell them to leave me alone.
“First of all, I am not complaining. After all, Even if we are being persecuted, are we forgetting that persecution is in the DNA of the Christian faith? Did we forget how Christianity started as a group that is not even supposed to survive? It was pummeled with persecution for 300 years. Which means, rather than worry over persecutions, Christians should focus on their faith.”