Amid Multiple Challenges of Life, Nigerians “need to walk by faith”: Catholic Archbishop

Archbishop Valerian Maduka Okeke of Nigeria's Onitsha Archdiocese. Credit: Nigeria Catholic Network

There is need for Nigerians “to walk by faith” as they seek to surmount the myriad of challenges, including life threatening ones such as insecurity and lawlessness, the Local Ordinary of the country’s Onitsha Archdiocese has said. 

In his message published Tuesday, April 18, Archbishop Valerian Maduka Okeke says that a lot of things in the West African nation are far from where they are expected to be amid “many unfulfilled promises”.

“In Nigeria where there are so many unfulfilled promises, insecurity, lawlessness, joblessness, disregard for due process and many more, one needs faith to draw near to God, believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him,” Archbishop Okeke says in the report that the Nigeria Catholic Network (NCN) published.

The Catholic Archbishop adds, “In Nigeria today, we need to walk by faith nourished by prayers and good works. Therefore, I urge you dear brothers and sisters, let us move in faith and prayers and never lose hope.”

Reflecting on the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews, Archbishop Okeke describes faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things which for the moment remain unseen” and urges the people of God in Africa’s most populous nation to align faith with their respective works. 


“We need the faith with which Jesus commanded the wind and there was a great calm on the sea (Mt. 8:26). The faith which healed the leper who approached Jesus with the request if you will…. (Mt. 8:3). The faith that healed the servant of the Centurion (Mt 8:10ff),” he says.

The Nigerian Archbishop makes further scriptural references, saying that Nigerians need “the faith which healed the blind man Bartimaeus with the words. ‘Go, your faith has made you well” (Mk. 10:52)’. The faith that healed the woman already sick for 12 years; ‘Have no fear… your faith has saved you’ (Mt. 9:22).”

“We know that faith is a condition for miracles and faith is nourished by prayer,” the 69-year-old Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in February 2002 as Coadjutor Archbishop of Onitsha reminds Nigerians that faith beckons dedication, truthfulness, and integrity in their duties.

Archbishop Okeke adds, “When we do our duties in faith and follow it up with prayers, God will lift us up beyond human abilities. Jesus Christ assures us that if we have faith, we can move mountains (cf. Mt. 17:21). Faith shows itself in good works.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.