Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Ecclesiastical Province of the Catholic Church, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, yesterday condemned what he described as the proliferation of hate speeches, and propagation of disunity in the country.
Onaiyekan, while delivering a homily at the dedication of a Catholic Church, Our Lady Queen of Peace, built by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba in his hometown, Akparabong, in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State, urged Christians to live by faith and charity.
â€œThe church of God is supposed to be a sign and instrument of what great things God is doing in our world. Our church should be a sign of the goodness of God so that anybody who has seen the church will say this is how Godâ€™s community should be.
â€œThis is particularly important today when religion has almost become something else. With harsh language, hate speech, and always believing it is just me and my religion, others are finished. The Christian faith, particularly the Catholic church, is wonderful but please let us not forget that God has given us a wonderful community. We must be signs and instruments of his mission on earth.
â€œWe should be found to be constantly there working for peace and love. Not just thinking only about how we can be saved, how we can prosper against others. No. I do believe by Godâ€™s grace that we have enough Catholics in this country to make a difference, if all of us where ever we are turned ourselves into signs and instruments.
â€œPray for the nation which we live. We are not alone and what happens to our Nation is not only our concern, but our responsibility. If we do our part we can make a difference in our country.
â€œWe pray that God should continue to show us the way, change the hearts of evil people, give wisdom and courage to those whose duty it is to lead us in our daily lives and grant peace and security to our nation.
At the sideline of the events where he later spoke to journalists, Onaiyekan said it was not accident that God brought 80 million Christians and 80 million Muslims in the country.
He appealed to Nigerians not to be disorganised by the excesses of a few individuals, who have constituted themselves to terrorists who are bent on destroying the nation.
â€œThere should be a grand alliance of all men and women of goodwill across the country, north and south, all tribes, all religions. Let us link hands and work together. If we link hands and work together and spread messages of peace, then all the noise would go away,â€ Onaiyekan said.
He also called for a crisis free general election in 2019.
In his remarks, Ndoma-Egba, who said he was greatly supported by his wife Amaka in seeing to the building of the church, said the project which started in 2003 was the fruition of a promise he made to God when he was 11 years old.
Ndoma-Egba expressed appreciation to his wife, whose birthday coincided with the dedication, and who supported her in building the church.