The Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Femi Ajakaye described the redemption of the image of the Nigerian nation as the responsibility of all Nigerians, irrespective of their status, religion, ethnicity or position in society. He therefore challenged all Nigerians to be proactively responsive to their responsibilities in their respective ways of life and situations. He added that making Nigeria great is not the responsibility of government alone.
The Bishop made this remark while speaking at the recent celebration of the Thanksgiving Mass to mark the 50th Birthday anniversary of Rev. Fr. Anthony Oluwole Ijasan, at St. Fidelis Catholic Church, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. The ceremony was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life, including government functionaries, about 100 priests, religious and lay faithful from all over the country.
According to the Local Ordinary of Ekiti Diocese: “Nigerians should stop complaining that Nigeria is not good or that the leaders are bad; instead, we should reappraise ourselves individually and play our part to make Nigeria great.” The Bishop noted that “if those in authority are found wanting, this does not mean the followership should follow their footsteps, but rather play their respective roles positively in whatever position they are, to make the country better”.
Bishop Ajakaye stressed that in this present dispensation, Government should put in place positive strategies that will make the country great again and make the people have a living that will make them to be proud citizens of their fatherland. He pointed out that the time has come for all Nigerians, especially those in authority “to put an end to the general attitude of anything goes – not doing the right thing at the right time.”
Giving references to buttress his point; Bishop Ajakaye noted that the Catholic Church has structures, discipline and orderliness, hence she is solidly and successfully carrying out the mission of Christ. According to him: “These qualities are lacking in the life of the Nigerian nation”, hence things are not going well as they should.
While congratulating the celebrant, who will also celebrate the Silver jubilee of his priestly ordination later in the year, Bishop Ajakaye urged him to use the day’s celebration for stock taking on his life, noting that half a century in life offers a good opportunity to thank God for His mercies and recapitulate on how far one has performed in life.
The Bishop described Fr. Ijasan as a pleasant person to be with, somebody who listens and takes corrections, and an achiever of note in his chosen vocation. While urging the celebrant to be more committed in his apostolate, he admonished the celebrant to advance with age and continue to use his talents for God for the benefit of humanity. Bishop Ajakaye also used the occasion to congratulate the Ijasan Family for giving two of their sons to work in the Lord’s vineyard for the salvation of souls.