“Those bad ones are the ones that make me sad,” the Nigerian Archbishop said, adding that looting and destruction of property is like taking “one step forward and three steps backward.”
He explained, “You go around destroying hospitals, police stations, offices. You are destroying yourself because they are going to use the money they could have used for something else to rebuild those things you destroyed.”
“Even those big men, if you destroy their houses, they are still going to take money from the common purse to rebuild their houses. You are still the loser,” he further explained.
In his homily November 1, the 62-year-old Archbishop also said the #EndSARS protests were ignited by the failure of political leaders in the country to listen to calls by Nigerians to end corruption in the country.
(Story continues below)
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“Let us not pretend that there is no problem in the country. Let us not behave like the ostrich that buries its head in the sand and behave as if there is no danger. There is danger! The brutality we are suffering in the hands of the police was enough, and the youths have said it,” Archbishop Kaigama observed.
He went on to note that the youths have also highlighted what members of the Catholic Bishop Conference have been talking about, expressing the hope that the protests awaken the political will in the leaders and every other person to act.
Through the protests, Archbishop Kaigama said, the youth have highlighted issues of “education, water, infrastructure and corruption,” which the country’s Bishops have been talking about “each time we met since 1960.”
“Stop corruption so that the wealth of this country can go round. We kept saying that but people didn’t listen,” he said recalling previously issues statements by the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and added, “Now, the youths have come and they say so forcefully. I hope it wakes us up. I hope that the next political dispensation will live up to the task.”
He lamented the direction Africa’s most populous nation is taking through its leadership saying, “We have been driven by daily selfish, materialistic, self-centered interests. We have been driven by religious sentiments, tribal sentiments, partisan political sentiments and that is why we can’t grow.”
“If everybody was to apply all the values we have been taught in school and in the family, Nigeria will be a better place,” the Archbishop further said and continued, “But when we go out there we say everybody is doing the same thing, corruption; if we cannot beat them we join them and that is our problem.”
The Local Ordinary of Abuja also expressed concern about the persistent violence between the Tiv and Jukun tribes saying, “Instead of using the small time we have to do things like fishing, farming and enjoying ourselves we are fighting and fighting and it takes us nowhere.”
Making reference to the recurring violence, he posed, “For how many decades have we been fighting now? Nobody can say he/she has gained anything. Rather we have suffered tremendous losses.”
“This world is not our home, the time we have is very short. We are just passing through. Why not use this time well. Embrace your brother, embrace your sister. If we fight and we fight and we destroy each other we are only destroying ourselves,” he emphasized.
Making reference to the readings of All Saints Day marked on Sunday, November 1, Archbishop Kaigama sought God’s intervention to help His people understand that “we are brothers and sisters and that in heaven there is no tribe, there is no religion, it is only for those who have done well.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called sons and daughters of God. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. So, let us be peacemakers, let us be pure in heart so that we can see God,” Archbishop Kaigama said, making particular reference to the Gospel reading.