Jenna Josh-Daniels, Abuja
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has raised concerns over the high level of corruption which he said has assumed a new level of digital proficiency despite the high number of worship places and religious activities in the country.
The Cleric raised the concerns in his Homily delivered during the inauguration of Catholic Action in Abuja Archdiocese. at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral over the weekend.
The Cleric who said God would not forsake the country in its travails, urged Nigerians to be thankful for the past 60 years of independence and count their blessings rather than lament the misfortunes that must have befallen them.
“Having celebrated Nigeria’s Diamond Silver Jubilee of independence, we Nigerians must count our blessings and not only lament our woes. Among the countries of Africa, Nigeria has the biggest population; she has a rich ethnic diversity, fertile land, abundant human and natural resources and many brilliant minds.
“Even with poor social infrastructure and unavoidable poverty, Nigerians still queue for elections under the sun and rain to vote, sometimes not knowing if our votes count or if the promises made by politicians are really genuine. Through the prayers and concerted efforts of Catholic Action and similar movements, I believe that God will provide political leaders who will work sincerely for the good of the citizens.
“Despite the numerous places of worship and frantic religious activities, corruption is yet to significantly diminish; rather, it has assumed a new level of digital proficiency and cuts across all levels, involving the poor and the rich, the young and the old, the villagers and urban dwellers, men and women and even those in primary schools.
“Our youths are still groaning under the yoke of unemployment thus taking refuge in cultism, drugs and violence. That we continue to see brothers killing brothers and celebrating it as an “achievement” makes my heart to bleed!
“We know that Nigerians have a lot to worry about. We worry about the irrational ethnic/religious distrust in our country leading to sacrilegious taking of human lives and people being displaced from their ancestral lands. Politically, all seems to be about survival of the fittest.
“Money has become a determining factor for many things! Merit hardly counts! One gets a job or admission to an institution or is recruited into a security agency or an arm of government largely based on whom one knows or because of one’s ethnic or religious identity!
“During elections voters are enticed with money by candidates or their godfathers or godmothers. Many young people complain that if interviews for employment or recruitment are advertised, it is a mere formality because the jobs or positions would have already been assigned in advance to influential public officials or the highest bidders.
“As God did not forsake Job in his dark moments, so will He not forsake Nigeria in her travails. Since Ebola, Polio, Malaria, Lassa fever, HIV, etc have not defeated us, so will the coronavirus pandemic not frustrate our progress.”