Ahead of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, the Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has urged more Catholics to go into politics to make Nigeria a better place, noting that the Catholic Church’s social doctrine encouraged individuals gifted with good ideas “to go into active politics” so that society can be a better place.
Cardinal Onaiyekan, who made the call on Thursday, May 20, at an interactive session with Catholic Action and Catholic Political Stakeholders in Abuja, stated: “That is the whole point of this gathering. We encourage our Catholic politicians to be familiar with these social doctrines to guide them in what they are doing. If there is peace for everybody, there is security. The Catholics will benefit from it”, the Cardinal assured.
The former Archbishop of Abuja noted that the purpose of the meeting was to bring awareness to the participants include active politicians, prospective politicians, and ordinary Nigerians, even as he stressed that every citizen must be involved in politics .
“If you are not involved in politics and do not care about how you’re being ruled, that means you are not responsible. It is your duty because you have to contribute your quota, whether by advice, by obeying laws, by criticizing bad laws, etc.
“That is where we talk about the right of every citizen to participate in government. We are not saying every citizen must end up in the National Assembly. But wherever you are, it is your right, so when we criticize the government, we are using our right.
“Although everybody should be involved in politics, there are those involved in partisan politics, through election or by appointment”, His Eminence stated.
The cleric further stressed that government should give Nigerians a forum to dialogue. “Nobody gains anything during conflicts or war. The problems of society will not be solved by war. It will only be escalated. When people go to war, it is the better part that wins.
“You do not win wars because you are right. War is not a way to fight for Justice. It is always a possibility to discuss it. Dialogue is very important. A lot of our issues can be solved by talking.
“We are all complaining that the government is not doing enough. Of course, it will; government can fail if the foundation is not strong. We do not have to continue that way. We can improve.
That is why we are meeting so we can do things as they should be done,” the cleric explained.
(SOURCE: CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE OF NIGERIA)