Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has tasked religious and political leaders to show more compassion to stem the wave of agitations across the country.
He also noted that Nigerians would have to restructure their minds if they are to reap genuine benefits from any effort to tinker with the political structure of the country.
Obaseki said this while delivering a goodwill message at the Grand finale of the first ever national Marian year declared in Nigeria and the third Marian Congress hosted by the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The governor urged the church to play its role in uniting Nigeria, particularly as the country is faced with threats from divisive elements and interests, who propagate hate speech, separatist agitation, insurgency, and youth restiveness.
Obaseki said that, as an oasis of peace, the Catholic Church needs to continually play the role of a uniting force in Nigeria, as well as speaking truth to power when the need arises.
“We are grateful to God and the Church for the continuous work of restructuring our minds as a people. If we, as a nation, fully accept the message of our Lady of Fatima and are committed to her message of repentance, we would need less of political restructuring. If we add more of love and less of self, to our leadership, Nigeria would be more united and better developed”.
The governor said his administration is committed to reforms in basic education and primary health care, adding, “We are focused on revamping vocational and technical education. These are commitments we share with the Catholic Church.”
President, CBCN, Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama said the congress first held in 1954, adding that it was an opportunity to pray for the nation.
According to him, “70 percent of Nigerians live below two-dollar per day. There is a lot of hunger and poverty in the land. I call on all of us, especially our leaders to entrust the country to God, who has the capacity to ensure that peace and unity transverse across the length and breadth of the nation.”