Nigeria’s “in-coming governments must work for peace and reconciliation”: Archbishop

Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos Archdiocese, Nigeria. Credit: Lagos Archdiocese

Nigeria’s incoming federal and local governments need to prioritize initiatives towards peace and reconciliation, the Catholic Archbishop of the country’s Lagos Catholic Archdiocese has said.

In his 2023 Easter message shared with ACI Africa Wednesday, April 12, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins says Nigeria has been marred by divisive events caused by poor leadership.

“In-coming governments must work for peace and reconciliation in order to foster peace and unity among Nigerian peoples,” Archbishop Adewale says.

The Catholic Archbishop says that the fact that Nigerians are currently experiencing hardship “from bad leadership (that) cannot be overestimated.”

"In recent times, we have had moments of divisiveness and disunity in our country," he said and added, "Disunity is always the work of the devil, the agent of darkness who is always looking for opportunities to cause confusion."


Africa’s most populous nations has been experiencing challenges ranging from insecurity to economic ones. 

Boko Haram has been terrorizing Nigerians since 2011 with indiscriminate attacks targeting the populace, especially Christians.

The nation has also been experiencing economic challenges including high inflation rates.

In October last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced plans to redesign its highest-value banknotes in a bid to address the challenge of excess cash and inflation. 

CBN allowed citizens to swap old naira notes with the redesigned bills from January 2023 to boost the adoption and circulation of the new currency before the old bills cease to be legal tender at the end of the first month of the new year

More in Africa

In his Easter 2023 Message, Archbishop Adewale calls on all leaders in Nigeria to “do away with narrow parochial, ethnic, religious interests so that we may be set on the path of greatness."

"We must realize that individual personal good, security, etc. can be assured only if the good of every individual person is attained,” the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos says, adding that Nigeria's leaders and all citizens “must renounce the path of selfishness and greed that is so prevalent now.”

“If we learn to love one another selflessly as Christ loves us, then we can build a better society where all would be able to develop and thrive and actualize their God-given potentials,” he says, and adds, "We must allow ourselves to be agents of unity, peace, and progress.”

"As we celebrate Easter the victory of Risen Christ over sin and evil," Archbishop Adewale says, "let us allow the power of Christ’s resurrection to dispel the darkness of disunity, discrimination, and violence that we are experiencing."

He also challenges the in-coming administrators at the Federal and State levels to be faithful to the promises in their manifestos so as to give Nigerians a new lease of life.


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.