Nigerians Need Now “more than ever before” Courage to Address Multiple Societal Evils

Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of the country’s Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. Credit: Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos

The West African nation of Nigeria is plagued by “many evils”, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of the country’s Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has lamented.

In a Friday, March 22 Lenten reflection he shared under the theme, “Confronting evil with courage”, Archbishop Adewale highlights the various evils in Africa’s most populous nation, and underscores the urgent need for the virtue of courage among Nigerians to address the evils.

“This, my dear friends, is the time more than ever before that we need courageous men and women to confront the many evils in society such as religious extremism, homosexuality, abortion, bad leadership, misappropriation of public funds, kidnapping, and banditry,” he said.

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop added, “We must confront these evils; even if we are in danger of being stoned and opposed by evil men and women, let us raise our voices against these evils wherever they may be found.”

Drawing inspiration from the Readings of the day, Friday of the fifth week of Lent, he emphasized the need for the people of God to stand up against evil even if they have to suffer persecution like Prophet Jeremiah and Jesus Christ.


Evil will always fight back whenever it is challenged or confronted, Archbishop Adewale said, referring to the experience of Jeremiah and Jesus Christ, and added, “This shows that humanity has a history of evil not giving up when it is challenged but always seeking ways of having its way in the lives of people and nations.”

Archbishop Adewale went on to caution against people, who employ propaganda and distortion of facts, saying, “We always have situations where evil people cook up stories and formulate cases to exact vengeance or stop efforts to bring about common good if it destabilizes their private agenda.”

“In our spiritual warfare as Christians, it is often the case that when we decide to put an end to certain bad behaviour, or evil activities in our lives, there is a tendency that the evil one will try to put temptations and other obstacles in our ways and discourage us from persevering,” he further warned.

The 64-year-old Catholic Church leader, who started his Episcopal Ministry in January 1998 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Abeokuta Diocese further said, “The devil is always lurking around the corner, trying to make you lose whatever ground you might have covered in your battles against the wickedness.”

“I can say to you in the language of today that there is no grieve for the devil; he is the enemy of your salvation,” he said, and added, “People will pick up stones to stone you; they will attempt to denounce you if you challenge their evil path.”

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The Local Ordinary of Lagos Archdiocese since August 2012 cautioned against despair, saying, “You must stand firm and never allow the devil or the men and women of evil to overcome you because the lord will deliver you.”

“May God help us to be men and women of courage, standing firm in the face of possible attacks,” Archbishop Adewale implored.

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.