By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace Most Revd. Ignatius Kaigama, on Sunday, said the suppressing the voices of the youths clamouring for positive change during Nigeria’s Democracy Day celebration would not end the many challenges facing the nation.
The Archbishop, who said this in his homily during the dedication of Saints Peter and Paul Church, Nyanya Abuja, however, argued that responding positively and creatively to their demands will help the government steer the nation away from the brinks of failure.
He said, “As we celebrated Democracy Day yesterday, we saw agitated youths on the streets clamoring for positive change. Suppressing their voice or scaring them away is not a solution, but responding positively and creatively to those reasonable demands of theirs.
“With our myriad of challenges, our nation may be failing, but it has not failed. Let us intensify building patriotic hearts, structures and institutions and rise above hatred, stereotyping, sectional interests, and bigotry, divisive and manipulative tendencies.
“It is our prayer that Nigeria will mature beyond the polarization based on religion and tribe, so as to be a shining light of social integration in Africa,” he observed.
Kaigama also lamented that the government over rely on oil as the primary source of revenue, arguing that this constituted the major source of quarrels about injustice and marginalization in the country.
“Let us, however, remember that there will be less demand for oil in the future and some countries are preparing to use electric vehicles or energy sources like solar and wind, a technological transformation that will render oil redundant.
“It is advisable that we focus more systematically on farming and animal husbandry; stop the needless hostility between farmers and herders, and rather invest heavily in modernizing these sectors which can help to reduce the number of unemployed youths on the streets.
“So, we implore fellow Nigerians to truly rededicate ourselves to God; show respect to one another, identify with the poor, and practise genuine forgiveness and reconciliation.
“Unemployed youths must not allow the healthy seeds in them to die. Keep dreaming positively and back it up by doing even petty jobs that will give you the dignity to eat from the labour of your hands. God will reward your patience,” he stated.