From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The Archbishop of Owerri province (Anglican Communion), Most Rev David O Onuoha, has said that Nigerian citizens have a lot to do, to bring about the rebirth of the nation, noting that decades of unrealized dreams, killed visions, wasted opportunities, squandered resources and betrayed hopes, is responsible for the excruciating pains the citizens are experiencing in Nigeria sixty years after political independence.
He said that the forthcoming 2023 general polls are going to be a definitive year for Nigeria and Nigerians.
The cleric said this while flagging off the Second Provincial Council Meeting at St Peter’s Cathedral, Umuokanne, Ohaji/Egbema local council area of Imo State.
“Obviously, these 62 years of independence have seen us do what we ought not to have done, while flatly failing to do what we ought to have done,” he said.
“As we reflect on our journey so far as a nation, may we see the next general elections in Nigeria as an opportunity to make amends. Let us resolve to stop deceiving ourselves or allowing others to deceive us.
“Making the mistake the mistake of being deceived either by party, religion, ethnicity, money, material items or gratifications for personal comfort, as has always been the case, will only compound our problems and may lead to the consequences that the country may not recover from.”
Archbishop Onuoha reiterated his belief that 2023 remains “a definitive year for Nigeria and her citizens, warning that “.insecurity and hopelessness, must rise up now, to persuade those in his sphere of influence, to be on the side of God, to elect a leadership that will work with God, for the good of Nigerians.
“Rather than the usual practice of sharing money and attacking opponents, we expect to see the opportunity presented by the current electioneering campaign, to be used to address nagging problems besetting this nation, as well as showcasing the candidate’s capacity, competence and character, to deal with these issues.
“Christians and Moslems should be encouraged to go and pray in their places of worship and in their homes, for a new Nigeria. Above all, we must convince ourselves that this election is not North versus South or Christians versus Moslems, but the rich versus the poor, the powerful versus the weak, and the lords versus the vassals. Since poverty does not respect any religion, the poor in both religions should unite in this election, against those who have been troubling the land.”
The Archbishop further noted that since insurgency, kidnapping and other forms of criminality are in every part of the nation, those affected in any way by this in the North should unite with their brothers in the South, against those who not only benefit from this unfortunate situation but also use it to advance their political career.
Continuing, he said: “Our security agencies should pause and ask if aiding and abetting rigging, since the history of elections in Nigeria, has in any way, be of benefit to them.
“Perhaps, the huge casualties they have suffered in the hands of insurgents and criminals may have been less, if they had insisted on the emergence of good leadership, through free and fair elections.
“The judiciary is not left out in this call for self-examination. If the effect of bad governance has not spared them, they should now stand up for judicial pronouncements that pursue what is good and not what is right. Our law officers should not allow legal technicalities to rub our society of good judgement.”