Nigeria sick and stagnant at 57, say clerics

As Nigeria marks 57 th year of nationhood next week, Archbishop of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province (Anglican Communion ), Dr . Michael Olusina Fape , and the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese , Most Rev . Paulinus Ezeokafor, have said that country is sick and the blood of “ innocent souls” shed unjustly is crying for vengeance .
Fape said this on Sunday while preaching at the 57 th special independence anniversary organised by the Ogun State Government which held at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, Ake , Abeokuta .
However , Ezeokafor spoke in Awka , at the church service to mark Nigeria’ s 57 th Independence celebration , themed , “ Seeing reality from the point of view of God. ”
Fape specifically mentioned the names of the late former Minister of Justice , Chief Bola Ige , late renowned journalist, Dele Giwa , late wife of the acclaimed winner of June 12 , 1993 presidential election , Kudirat Abiola and Funsho Williams, who were assassinate and whose blood were crying for vegeance .
In a 30 minutes message , Fape also described corruption and selfishness as major cankerworm confronting Nigeria.
The cleric flayed Nigerian leaders both past and present who he described as “ corrupt and clueless ” as they had failed to find solutions to the nation ’s woes .
Fape , who doubles as the Bishop of Remo , expressed regret that at 57 years of nationhood, the country was still grappling with poor health sector , bad welfare package for retirees , dilapidated infrastructure and poor educational system .
He said though Nigerians had continued to offer prayers for the nation they have refused to turn away from wickedness .
He said , “ We have been seeking the face of God but we have not turned from our wickedness . We have shed blood of many innocent souls in this nation . From Dele Giwa to Bola Ige , from Alfred Rewane to Funsho Williams and to our Kudirat Abiola and many more , you can still count on but the blood of these innocent ones is crying for vengeance.
“ Should we continue in sins and ask for grace of God to abound? Absolutely no . ”
Fape argued that politicians , religious leaders and community leaders were responsible for Nigeria ’s “ sickness , ” adding that the country needed selfless leaders .
The cleric asked Nigerians to humble themselves before God , “seek his face and pray for forgiveness . ”
In his speech , the Ogun State Governor , Ibikunke Amosun , who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga , admitted that “ all is not well with Nigeria” but cautioned that violence was not the best option to resolve those challenges .
He noted that Nigeria remained united despite the challenges and therefore appealed to religious leaders to continue to preach unity and peaceful co -existence .
Ezeokafor on Sunday called for concerted efforts to fix the country as appropriate .
He blamed the country ’s woes on greed, corruption and other vices ravaging the nation on every sphere .
He said the occasion called for reflection on the challenges confronting the country in the light of cohesion and posterity .
Ezeokafor added , “ As Christians , we should allow the light of the gospel to shine on these dark spots of our national life to make things better for the populace . We must see the nation ’ s future as dependent on our actions and inactions as individuals and as a unit. ”
He asked the youths to eschew laziness by engaging in useful ventures, while urging government at all levels to address the unemployment situation in the country .
Speaking , the Anambra State Governor , Willie Obiano, said his administration had done well in security , payment of workers ’ salaries and agriculture .
He enjoined the people of the state to re - elect him for the continuity of good governance in the state.