The Archbishop, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Alfred Martins, on yesterday urged politicians not to see the 2015 general elections as do-or-die affair, while enjoining Nigerians not to mortgage their future and the future of the coming generation for a mere “pot of pottage.”
In his sermon at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, Martins equally admonished politicians to use the 2015 elections as stepping stone toward providing quality stewardship to the electorate.
The cleric also advised politicians to learn from history and to always allow the norm that power belonged to the people to guide their political activities.
“The political atmosphere in our country is highly charged with political activities as the year 2015 gradually draws near.
“I urge the good people of Nigeria to take their destiny in their own hands by ensuring that they do not abdicate their responsibility of having a say in those who govern them.
“Nigerians should learn and pursue the path that would lead to good governance, transparency, and accountability,’’ he said.
While urging the Federal Government to ensure that all electoral rules were enforced with a view to organizing successful elections, Martins stressed that anti-democratic attitudes such as political thuggery, rigging, violence, politics of bitterness and acrimony leading to politically motivated assassinations that still characterize our political landscape should be jettisoned.
“A new political orientation that will ensure the success of the forthcoming electoral process should be embraced’’ he said.
The cleric underscored the need for the emergence of committed and patriotic leaders, saying that it behoves on all Nigerians to actively participate in the electoral processes.
“The temptation to embrace rigging and violence as the easy way to win elective offices would be unnecessary if those elected to govern us do so with the fear of God and due regard for the rule of law,” he stated.
The cleric commended the Federal Government and its security agencies as well as other groups campaigning for the release of the kidnapped Chibok school girls but however, urged the government not to relent in its efforts at securing the release of the girls by exploring all possible ways.
“The insurgency is becoming even more worrisome as it seems that they are now trying to conquer territories that the military have to try and liberate.
“There is a show of lack of respect for human life in the way they indiscriminately detonate explosives killing and wounding people and also blow themselves up as suicide bombers.
“Even more alarming is the trend of the sect members using women and children as weapons of mass destruction.
“It is most disheartening to see women and children blowing themselves up in the guise of fighting a religious war.
“This, no doubt, is devilish, inhuman, and unacceptable by any standard. We call on their leaders and sponsors to have a change of heart,” Martins said. (NAN)