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Pray for Political Aspirants to Prioritize “interests of suffering Nigerians”: Archbishop

Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja

The Catholic Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has urged the people of God in the West African country to pray for those seeking political offices for them to be guided by “the genuine interests of the suffering Nigerians”.

In his homily at St. Martin of Tours Parish of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama cautioned politicians against pointing fingers of blame at each other at the time when the country is politically sensitive.

“As the waves of electioneering hit the air, we must pray fervently that those seeking political offices will be guided by the genuine interests of the suffering Nigerians, without compromising the electoral process,” Archbishop Kaigama said in his Sunday, February 6 homily. 

Making reference to the Sunday Gospel Reading, the Nigerian Archbishop underlined the country’s state of hunger, unemployment and worsening economic condition saying that the challenges are as a result of the country “toiling all night without catching any fish.”

“Our nation is in danger of toiling all night without catching any fish, which is why hunger and poverty increase; crime, violence, unemployment of youths, worsening economic conditions, stare us menacingly in the face,” he said.

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The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese called upon politicians to shun hypocrisy and clear themselves and their political parties of any evil vices in their fight for electoral victory with an aim of making the country a better place.

He further made reference to the “speck and log” allegory saying politicians “should first rid themselves of the very dirt in their hearts or political package as they and their political parties fight for electoral victory, presumably, to make our country better.”

The Catholic Archbishop said that God has the ability to know human beings even if they try to hide, and that since nothing is hidden from Him, all humanity has a duty of accounting to Him.

Archbishop Kaigama urged the people of God in the West African country to take personal responsibility by accusing themselves and admitting personal guilt “as we say at Mass, ‘through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault’, with a broken spirit and a broken contrite heart.”

He made reference to Vatican Council II document, Lumen Gentium #31, one of the first required readings of the Theology of Lay Ministry course, and said that “every Christian is commissioned to share in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly functions of Christ.”

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He added, “As a teacher, a government official or employee, doctor, farmer, trader, politician, nurse, engineer and others, you share in the apostolate of preaching, teaching, and witnessing to Christ.”

He further made reference to the Sunday Gospel from Luke saying, “We are called to be courageous witnesses of Christ in a society where people are drowning in sin. We must learn from the experience of Peter to ‘put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.’”

Archbishop Kaigama said that people of God in Africa’s most populous nation ought to emulate Peter’s experience, which teaches that “it is not human logic or professional skills or expertise that produces great results; ultimately, it is obedience to God that produces the best results, for ‘God’s ways are not our ways.’”

The Nigerian Archbishop spoke about the importance of the sacrament of Confirmation saying that the Spirit received at this stage is not of fear or timidity, but the “Spirit that enkindles in us the fire of divine love; to strengthen us in our weakness, and makes us to be able to say like Isaiah, ‘Here I am, Lord send me.’”