Bishop Peter Odetoyinbo of the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta
…..urges Nigeria’s new leaders to serve diligently
By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Most Rev. (Dr) Peter Odetoyinbo, has called on the newly elected president, governors, National Assembly and State House of Assembly members, to reflect the true values of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as they begin to serve the people across the country.
Bishop Odetoyinbo, who made this call in his Easter Message entitled “Alleluia! Christ Truly rises”, charged them to serve without abusing their powers and privileges.
The Bishop pointed out that the celebration of Christ’s resurrection should spur the people to go out and proclaim God’s love for humanity, stressing that the best way this can be manifested is to show love to one another, regardless of tribe and religion, especially at this period that Nigeria is still in distress.
“We must return to the core values of humanity in our relationship with one another. Our national pledge
challenges us to embrace patriotism to our country. The virtues of faith, loyalty, honesty and service to humanity should be the guiding principles for us all, particularly those that were recently elected into various
political offices in our country.
“Let them reflect the true values of the resurrection as they begin to serve whether as Governors, Senators, Members of the National Assembly, Ministers etc. They should manifest the new life of the risen Christ who came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. Christ did not abuse his power and privileges, though He was in the form of God. He did not
count equality with God but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant and offering His life so that humanity
can be saved”, he stated.
While urging political officeholders to join in the project of a better Nigeria where leaders will commit themselves to serve the people as Christ, the cleric further admonished them to be close to the members of their constituencies and feel their pain and desire for change by using their offices to provide basic amenities that will better the lives of Nigerians.
“We admonish them to be close to the members of their constituencies and feel their pain and desire for change by using their offices to provide basic amenities that will better the life of Nigerians”.
Bishop Odetoyinbo stressed that, as resurrection of Christ brought reconciliation and victory over sin, evil and death, Nigerians should be reconciled with one another so that all can live in peace and unity for a prosperous and renewed Nigeria.
He added: “Our hope for a greater Nigeria can only be sustained when we commit ourselves to a new orientation and attitude in our socio-political life. The orientation of service to humanity as against
exploitation; sacrifice rather than self-enrichment and love for others rather than self-aggrandizement. With such an attitude, we can achieve the dream of a country of peace and unity where the love of Christ reigns in our heart”.
The Catholic prelate emphasized that Easter is a time of hope, new life and new beginning as it gives the opportunity each year to
renew the Christians’ commitment to their creed, maintaining that people should be imitators of Christ and live in love, as Christ loved and gave Himself up the humanity.
According to him, “to experience Easter, is to experience God’s new life which is the hope of a better tomorrow. We must learn to let go of the troubles of yesterday and focus on living the new life of today. We look beyond the struggles of life and look forward to the future
with renewed faith and hope.
“To us Nigerians, are we not tired of the situation of things in our country right now? Why are we so unkind, making one another sad rather than joyful? We take advantage of every situation to exploit one another and point accusing fingers at others. In fact, many of us complain about the situation of things in our country but do evil to one another on a daily basis”.
Bishop Odetoyinbo opined that the evil in the country today is as a result of individual actions and inactions as vices seemed to have become virtues.
“Infact, many of us complain about the situation of things in our country, but do evil to one another on daily basis”.
“Fellow Nigerians, the evil in the land today is as a result of our individual actions and inactions; vices seem to have become virtues. Let us cease to do evil, and learn to do good. If we love our country, we must all work to make it better. Nigeria does not belong to one tribe or religion; this country belongs to all of us and no one should be ostracized in the project of rebuilding our nation”.
He further admonished Nigerians to cease to do evil, and learn to do good, saying “if we love our country, we must all work to make it better. Nigeria does not belong to one tribe or religion; this country belongs to all of us and no one should be ostracized in the project of rebuilding our nation.
“The undeniable truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ should spur us to confront life with openness to others in
words and deeds. Truth and justice must be the foundation of social contracts. Let the truth of Christ’s resurrection inspire us to embrace the truth of God, one another and our country”, he submitted
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