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“Our country is crying, shouting in pain”: Nigerian Bishop

“We need to see Jesus. That is the only way we can start walking back from the path of destruction on which we have all stepped.” 

NSUKKA , 22 March, 2021 / 5:30 PM (ACI Africa).- 

A Nigerian Bishop has bemoaned the myriad challenges bedeviling the West African nation saying that the country “is crying, shouting in pain.” 

In his Sunday, March 21 homily, Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nigeria’s Nsukka Diocese said, “In the situation in the world today and especially in Nigeria, our country is crying, our country is shouting in pain.”

Making reference to Gospel reading of the day, Bishop Onah added, “What Nigeria is telling every Christian today is, ‘We want to see Jesus.’”

“We are in darkness, everybody is confused, and we are proposing answers that will multiply our problems,” the Nigerian Bishop went on to say. 

He advocated for a different approach to the challenges facing Africa’s most populous nation saying, “Change of governance without change of attitude does not change anything in any country.”

Making reference to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s ascension to power, Bishop Onah said, “Nigerians thought in 2015 their problems would be solved once they changed their President and governors. It does not happen that way.” 

 “Nigeria is in dire need of an encounter, a transforming encounter with Christ,” the Bishop said.

“I think our situation in Nigeria today has passed the level we would like to see,” the Local Ordinary of Nsukka Diocese noted, adding, “We need to see Jesus. That is the only way we can start walking back from the path of destruction on which we have all stepped.” 

Terming the situation in Africa’s largest economy as “an unheard cry of Jesus Christ,” the 65-year-old Bishop noted that the people of God in Nigeria “must hear that cry loud and clear and lead back the people of God to encounter Jesus and show the rest of Nigerians the way to Jesus Christ.” 

“We need to see Jesus and the hour has come. There is no more time for postponement,” Bishop Onah said.

He continued, “This is the time because this is the only time we will realize that what will wave this country is that type of imitation of Christ where all of us will accept to die like a seed so that a new Nigeria will be born.” 

“We must die to our selfishness; all this accumulation of wealth and power must die so that we look up to He who has been lifted up on the Cross totally sacrificing Himself for us. He will draw us up as a new creation and our country and all of us will live again,” he said during his March 21 homily. 

The Bishop appealed, “My dear brothers and sisters, please let us hear this cry and throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus and take all those who we encounter in our lives by their hand and lead them to a transforming encounter with Jesus Christ.” 

Meanwhile, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has decried the misuse of public resources in the West African country.

In his homily March 21, Archbishop Kaigama who was making reference to the Gospel reading of the day underscored the need for the people of God in Nigeria to “die to self” for a new country to be born. 

“We must all pay attention to the voice of God in our consciences. The degree of rot and blatant misuse of public resources of this great country is because many have allowed their conscience to die. They see no wrong in their bad or evil actions and they rationalize sin and crime,” Archbishop Kaigama

According to the Nigerian Archbishop, “Dying to self is the only way a new Nigeria will germinate and grow, free from the dominion of sin and criminality; to produce patriotic citizens who do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than themselves; looking not only for their interests, but the interests of fellow Nigerians.” 

In his homily at St. Matthew’s Pastoral Area, Paso in Abuja, the 62-year-old Archbishop observed that the clamor for positive change will be possible if “Nigerians avoid politics of pleasure and the tendency of leadership without sacrifice, practice self-emptying, uproot every sinful habit and seek to be renewed in mind, spirit, soul and body.”

The positive change, he cautions, is likely to be a mirage because “leaders want others to die for their political ambitions, while they are comfortable with their families at home or their children well protected overseas.”

“It is only by dying to self that good governance can be entrenched and positive legacies endure, just as Jesus in dying became the source of eternal life,” Archbishop Kaigama emphasized in his March 21 homily.

SOURCE ACI Africa. Published with permission.

PHOTO CREDIT: giveawayboy

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