By Luminous Jannamike
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace Most Revd Ignatius Kaigama, has said that Nigerians need a change of attitude for the country to overcome its numerous challenges.
He disagreed with the belief that the government alone was to be blamed for the steady erosion of moral values in the society, adding that no matter the reforms introduced by any administration, nothing would improve without a positive attitudinal change on the people’s side.
Kaigama, who stated this in his homily at the Holy Trinity Parish, Maitama, Abuja on Sunday, was reacting to the abduction and murder of a five-year-old schoolgirl, Hanifa Abubakar, whose body was discovered in a shallow grave in Kano after almost two months of fruitless searching.
He said, “No doubt, we are good at blaming others, especially leaders in government, forgetting that what each Nigerian needs is radical positive attitudinal change.
“How can one ever explain that a school teacher abducted and killed five-year old Hanifa, and could not hear the cry for mercy of the angelic looking girl? Where is our humanity? Is government alone responsible for this monumental deficiency of basic human feelings?
“Like the men, women and children in the days of Ezra, the priest, let Nigerians listen attentively and act based on our scriptures, social norms and basic traditional values.”
The Metropolitan Archbishop maintained that even the best government policies and programmes would not solve the nation’s myriad of problems, if there was no change of attitude.
Nevertheless, he charged those seeking election to political offices in 2023 to prioritise the welfare and freedom of the people, insisting that real change would be a mirage unless the elected leaders soothe the pains and burdens of Nigerians.
The Archbishop counseled: “Jesus in the Synagogue in Nazareth announced the divine manifesto of God, to bring good news to the poor, freedom to the captives, giving sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
“Those strongly desiring to be President or Governors and Senators in 2023, must urgently make their own this divine manifesto. They should realize that two years of pandemic have taken their toll on us, insecurity, poverty, hunger, etc., have traumatized people needlessly.
“As individuals and as a government, we must do all we can to soothe the pains and burdens of Nigerians.
“Let us join hands with other Christians and members of other religions, using our respective scriptures for good rather than to compete, exhibit superiority or favour our side. By this we shall transcend narrow ethnic and religious boundaries.”