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Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye (M) flanked by clergymen during the Good Friday service held at Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos
By Odinaka Uruakpa
The Bishop and Diocesan of Lagos Diocese, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Humphrey Bamisebi Olumakaiye has enjoined Nigerians to champion the Nigerian project, by voting in the right people, come 2023, so that the country would witness lasting progress and development.
Olumakaiye, who gave the charge during the Good Friday service, held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, noted that if Nigerians want to get things right, they need to promote justice and righteousness, adding that, that is the only way the people can sustain unity in the nation.
Wondering why humans prefer evil to good, the Diocesan noted that this attitude of preference of evil over good, has been a predominant character in man since the beginning of time.
Said he: “What I will like to say to the nation today is for us to ask ourselves why we prefer evil to good? And this has been in existence since the beginning of creation. “Today, the people were asking for Barabbas at the expense of our Lord Jesus Christ. They were saying, ‘Give us Barabbas. Let Christ be crucified.’ In summary, they were asking evil over good; that evil should triumph over good. And when you look at what is pervading, ravaging our nation today, we talk of greed, we talk of militancy, we talk of insurgents, we talk of kidnappers, we talk of bandits, we talk of the Boko Haram; their evils, and you see people following them, people listening to them. And even the government, they are not doing anything; it seems they are promoting evil.
“When we say that we want to give amnesty to Boko Haram, we want to give amnesty to bandits; people that kill anyhow, murderers. It’s a big surprise. And there is need for us to have a change of heart, if we don’t want to pull this nation down, if we are not rubberstamping evil. There is need for government to come out with the full wrath of the law, and make sure that justice prevails in this nation. Let righteousness reign in this nation. And you see that today, who are the politicians? The righteous people will not be voted for. People that are clean will not be voted for. We have been voting for dishonest people, greedy people, and corrupt people.” While lamenting on the questionable character of some leaders, who use their money to subvert justice, Olumakaiye noted that if citizens want the progress of the country, they should champion the course of good people.
Noted he: “I think enough is enough. If we want this nation to progress, we want development; we should champion the course of the good people. And that is the message. As we read in the Bible, the people were asking for the release of Barabbas, at the expense of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us look inward among ourselves. If we are going to vote today, are we not going to vote for Barabbas, and condemn the Lord Jesus Christ? So, if we want to get it right, there is need for us to promote justice. if we want to get it right, there is need for us to promote righteousness. if we want to get it right, there is need for us to promote love. And that is the only way we can sustain the unity of this nation, or else we will be deceiving ourselves.”
The Bishop advised the people to pray, and to return to God, as he assured that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
Observed he: “It is for us now to return to the Lord, and allow the light of the gospel to prevail over this nation. And we can’t pray enough. For 2023, we should stop all these strategies that we are trying to maneuver whatever. We should try as much as possible to pray. Let us pray. Let us commit the people to the Lord; that the Lord should choose for us. Let us cry unto the Lord, that the Lord should guide us. And also, let us appeal that godly minded people should come out. We should not see politics as a dirty game. We should not allow evil people to silent us, even if they are shouting, ‘Give us Barabbas.’ If evil is prevailing over good, we should not allow it; we should stop it. And we should be able to come out with boldness, and say it’s high time for us to take our destiny into our own hands, and by praying. The Lord will help us. That’s the only way out”.
When asked how people can identify the right people to vote, he said: “By their fruits, we shall know them. Except we are deceiving ourselves, by their fruits, we shall know them. There are people that have served this nation conscientiously, that have been so dedicated, that have been so sincere, and that have the love of the masses at heart. We know them. We can see what they have done before in this nation. We can bring such people on board. People that we know that they are people of high integrity. People that we can vouch for; let us bring them on board. It’s not right for people that have been condemned, It’s not right for people that have been jailed, it’s not right for people that we know that these people are not clean, they are dishonest, they have caused division in the country, they promote all kinds of militancy, they promote all kinds of evil things in the nation; we should not bring those people on board. We should try as much as possible to tell the truth, and allow godly people that can serve us faithfully, that we can see their fruits by their meritorious service to this nation, to lead us in 2023. The leadership of 2023 matters to us at this time because once we get it right at the top, then, definitely, we will get it right down the lin