By Vivian Onyebukwa
The The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Reverend Adewale Martins has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to speak directly to Nigerians to allay their fears over growing insecurity across the country.
He said: “Let our president talk to us and tell us what is being done to make sure everything is going well. It is not enough to look forward to retirement; it’s important to see and make sure things are in place before that.
According to him, some Nigerians are of the view that the 2023 elections will not take place, given the relentless attacks by insurgents across the country.
“That’s why we need to ask our government to please ensure that we allay our people’s fears that the election won’t happen,” Martins said.
He also urged Nigerians to take the upcoming general elections in 2023 seriously as election preparations draw near: Warning. The votes will count. Let’s take these elections seriously. Let’s listen to what politicians have to say, because it will help us determine what we will do with our votes.
Speaking on his 10th anniversary of installation, the pastor also appealed to all the Catholic faithful not to slacken their prayers for Nigeria and the authorities.
“I would like all of us to please take the skies by storm with our prayers for Nigeria. We all know the circumstances we have found ourselves in and we can count all the challenges from start to finish. other in the street because there are so many of them, and that is why we must ask the Lord to take perfect control.
He described the Rosary as Mother Mary’s weapon of war, which he said has been successful in recent years.
“Certainly he will succeed in our time because God is the same on the throne. Our Mother is the same. Let us pray the Rosary,” he added.
On his 10th anniversary of installation, Martins attributed his success so far in the diocese to what he described as the work of the archdiocese’s heroes of faith who labored before him.
“If I stand today, it is because I had the chance to stand on the shoulders of giants who came before me. As the song says: I am stronger for their courage, and I am wiser for their wealth. Their wealth of wisdom and vision has had an impact in ensuring that we have an archdiocese and we have the laity,” Martins said.
The atmosphere was filled with excitement during the celebration of the Catholic Archbishop’s 10th birthday and 63rd birthday at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos.
The occasion also saw the ordination of nine Reverend Fathers into the Catholic priesthood by the Archbishop. The priests included Loius Anyanwu, Richard Nwabugwu, Emmanuel Fashanu, Clement Idobogbe, Paul Mba, Benjamin Mkpahu, Hilary Ongunyemi, Dominic Okafor and Anthony Olympio.
Attending the occasion were Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okojie, Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos, other Archbishops and Bishops from different parts of the country, including Archbishop Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ibadan, the Most Reverend Fr. Anselm Pendo Láwàní, Diocesan Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Ilorin, Bishop John Akinwunmi Oyejola of the Diocese of Osogbo and Bishop Peter Kayode Odetoyinbo of the Diocese of Abeokuta, among others.
Visiting priests from many other dioceses, religious and members of different organizations also graced the occasion.
The event began with a high mass. Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, Metropolitan See of Benin City, delivered the homily. Akubeze congratulated Martins on his birthday. He expressed his gratitude to him for his profound works and the examples shown so far during his 10 years as a bishop. He described him as a leader who led the faithful with love and compassion.
Akubeze also commended the ordained priests and advised them to spread the word of God by the Spirit, as they have now been empowered and anointed to perform on the basis of ability. He further advised them to strive for betterment in all ramifications in order to promote and protect the virtues of the church, while being obedient and submissive to church authorities.
He acknowledged the presence of Cardinal Okogie, as well as religious leaders of other denominations. He called on political leaders to listen to the plight of the people they govern and urged the public to be true to their conscience in the upcoming elections.
While praising the efforts of the security agencies, he also sought God’s protection over them.
Rev. Benjamin Mkpahu, one of the new priests, expressed his gratitude to God for their accomplishment, attributing it to prayer, perseverance, God’s grace and mercy.