“We must work harder to restore the fraternity and friendship that once characterized our relationship, now overgrown by distrust, suspicion, polarization and prejudices,” Archbishop Kaigama said, adding that restoring a good relationship between people of various religious backgrounds in Nigeria is hindered by a section of people in the country who he described as self-righteous.
“Members of each religious group in Nigeria often think other people are the sinners, bad people, criminals or enemies,” the Archbishop of Abuja said, explaining that those who look down upon others behave like the Pharisee whose prayers were filled with self-righteousness.
He went on to challenge the people of God in Africa’s most populous nation to engage in some self-examination in view establishing areas to work on saying, “Look into the mirror. That person you see is not blameless; work on him or her.”
The Catholic Archbishop further urged Nigerians to make use of the birth of Jesus to repent and to ask for the grace to resist the temptation of restlessness and violent tendencies in the face of “real or perceived problems”, saying that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
“Let us ask for a spirit of true repentance and admit the crimes we have committed against one another, to genuinely consolidate our brotherhood and sisterhood as Nigerians,” Archbishop Kaigama said December 5.
He further encouraged his compatriots to emulate prophet Micah by reflecting upon their lives and resolving to “act justly, love tenderly” and also to walk in the humble fellowship with God.
The Nigerian Archbishop added, in reference to the famed prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, “We ask the Lord to make us instruments of peace. Where there is hatred in this country let us bring love, where there is injury, let us bring pardon, to achieve the much-needed social transformation and progress for us all.”
He used texts from book of Prophet Isaiah to encourage Nigerians to face hardships with courage, saying that amid insecurity challenges in the country, they will come out as “a better people, a better nation, bound in freedom, peace and unity.”
“Let us not for any reason give up; it shall be well with our country Nigeria, it shall be well with our families; it shall be well with our youths, and we shall all flourish and blossom once again,” the Archbishop who has been at the helm of Abuja Archdiocese since November 2019 said.
He cautioned Nigerians against engaging in bitter contention and “vainglory”, and posed, “Are we surprised that there is conflict, violence, inhuman treatment, injustice, corruption and inequitable distribution of our God-given resources?”