As Christians mark the 2019 Ash Wednesday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has urged all Nigerians to pray for the country’s freedom from the bondage of corruption.
The call was made in a special message made available to DAILY POST by the President of CBCN, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, to mark the beginning of this year’s Lenten season.
“We cannot move forward if we do not turn to God in prayer. The prosperity of Nigerians is being held captive by corruption. Let us pray and work for the liberation of Nigeria so that every Nigerian can realise their God-given potentials,” Akubeze said.
He also called for the conversion of heart of every Nigerian.
“We must as the Holy Father said, turn away from the culture of dominating the weak. We must turn away from the culture of individualism. We must turn away from corruption and politics of bitterness.
“We must turn away from the rhetoric of hate speeches which create mutual suspicion among ourselves. Let us learn to love and trust one another. There is deficit of love in our nation.
“More importantly, that there should be justice and peace in Nigeria. Without justice and peace, there cannot be progress. Let us all be agents of justice and peace in our land,” he said.
Akubeze further urged Nigerians to engage in other spiritual exercises on behalf of the nation, particularly almsgiving and fasting.
He explained: “Through almsgiving, we are able to share our resources with those who are in need. This act helps us to know that we belong to one family of God.
“We must never allow political parties, ethnic differences, or religious differences to divide us. There is only One God who is responsible for our being.
“Through fasting, we are able to conquer our concupiscence, and recognise that God has given us the power to overcome all temptations.”
While urging security agencies to remain non-partisan and protect every Nigerian, the CBCN leader thanked those who came out to vote during the Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
He urged all registered voters to come out massively for the forthcoming Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.