Christmas: Match your words with actions - Bishop Odetoyinbo tells Nigerian leaders

Christmas: Match your words with actions - Bishop Odetoyinbo tells Nigerian leaders

The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Most Rev. Dr. Peter Odetoyinbo, has called on the Nigerian leaders to match their words with actions, and do all within their powers to end the present economic hardship in country.

He urged politicians and those in positions of power to make sacrifices, stressing that their extravagant lifestyles and affluence while encouraging citizens to endure is a total betrayal of the ‘renewed hope’ vision, the President Bola Tinubu-led federal government presented to Nigerians.

Bishop Odetoyinbo, who said this in his Christmas Message made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, noted that leaders living in affluence while citizens wallow in abject poverty is not in line with the ‘renewed hope’ agenda.

He challenged leaders at the various arms of government to rebuild trust and confidence in the people.

He said, "the executive must engage in policies and programmes that will better the lives of Nigerians, the legislature must pass bills that are pro-life and reflect proper representation of the will of Nigerians while the judiciary must be the last hope of the common man not only in judgement, but also in justice. Unfortunately, the reality in our country speaks otherwise. This shows that we are all called to do more than we have done in the past, to build a collective trust in our country".

Bishop Odetoyinbo said, "we cannot allow a few people to hijack our commonwealth and continue to advance their cause while the rest of us resign to fate and hopelessness. We are not Nigerians by accident, but by the will of God who created us wonderfully and beautifully with our colour, tribes and tongue. We cannot devalue ourselves and nation and expects others to celebrate us. We must be intentional about rebuilding and uplifting the glory of Nigeria by desisting from acts of terrorism, banditry, oil theft, arm robbery, kidnapping, electoral malpractices, maiming and killing one another; acts like these destroy our commonwealth and the integrity of our country both locally and internationally. We must enthrone the virtues of love, joy, peace, unity and humility before God. This is what Christmas must instill in us. The season of Christmas affords us the opportunity to celebrate the love of God with one another as one family united in a common vision for our common good. This love must be shared with our brothers and sisters particularly those that find it difficult to celebrate due to the present economic hardship. I exhort and enjoin all who have, to share their gifts with the poor and less privileged around them. There is hunger in the city and famine on the plain”.

Speaking on mirage of problems confronting the country, Bishop Odetoyinbo said, "we must never give up on our efforts to reforming ourselves and collectively rebuilding our country. We must not give up on the quest to overcome the forces of darkness in the world as the Church calls us to reflect during this season of Christmas. We must remain hopeful for our country. In the midst of the doubts, hunger, danger, anger, pain and hopelessness that stir us in the face particularly with the conducts of our leaders and fellow compatriots; we must remain resolute and hopeful in the vision of a new Nigeria. We daily witness with concerns the exodus of Nigerians particularly young people to other nations leading to brain drain and loss of capable hands that would have added value to our common effort of rebuilding Nigeria. Such embers of desperation and hopelessness, should not be allowed to flourish any longer".

He further said, "as people of hope, we believe that Nigeria will rise again and the glory of the Lord shall shine upon her; and many who have been displaced due to problems besieging this country will once more return to their homeland. Some of the developed nations to which some Nigerians have emigrated, had their dark moments in history. They went through their own storms but kept hope alive. Where is the hope for our nation?  We must remind one another that God loves us in Nigeria and learn to love one another. We cannot continue to appreciate other nations and work daily to destroy our own. Engaging in acts that bring collective shame to the name of our country and cause havoc to lives and properties of fellow Nigerians is inimical to our hope for a better Nigeria”.

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