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The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has said that the inauguration of President Mohammadu Buhari for second tenure does not call for celebration yet, as there were many court litigations trailing the outcome of the elections.

“We are still waiting for the final verdict of the tribunals, on which we now rely, in all spirit of peaceful contest, guided by the rule of law. We thank God who has led us thus far. This is no time for celebration of victory or for lamentation over defeat. Rather, it is time to pull efforts together, with the grace of God, to tackle the serious challenges before us.”

According to Onaiyekan, at an inter-denominational church service May 26, for the 2019 presidential inauguration, which held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, last Sunday the state of our nation is such that does not call for rejoicing, especially as the ranks of the poor are swelling by the day.

He said hopelessness and helplessness stare the citizens in the face, even as they watch in frustration the affluence of the very few cruising in a different world of their own.

Cardinal Onaiyekan, who stood in for the President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, said he takes full responsibility for his comments.
He took his sermon from Deuteronomy 30:19 with the theme, ‘Let us choose life not death’.

He urged the administration to review its leadership style to engender a society of equality and fairness.

“At this moment, we would do well to acknowledge our failure to do things in the right way. Here the words of the psalmist should challenge each of us: ‘If you Oh Lord should mark our guilt, who would survive?’ The blame game of pointing accusing fingers at others will not carry us far.

“For a positive change to take place, we must all be ready for a sincere change of heart, from the lowest to the highest, but especially at the highest levels. Empty boasts and bare-face denial of the realities around us cannot build a nation.

“But all is not lost either. As we embrace a new term of government, it should be for us a new opportunity to change ways and review habits of governance, for a better Nigeria. We can and we should do this. God has endowed us with adequate resources to achieve this, resources that we unfortunately turn into crises and problems. Ethnicity and religion are two cases in point.

“Again, here we must tell the truth. For too long, we have been seeing what seems to be a policy of polarization of the nation along primordial fault lines of ethnicity and religion. The result is that we have been indulging in the risky game of dancing on the brink of chaos’.

We do not know for how long we can continue to get away with this. But the handwriting on the wall is quite clear for all who care to see. It is said that no condition is permanent: certainly not the present state of our nation.

“In this new term of office, there is need for a drastic change of government system, if our nation is to be saved from imminent chaos.”

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