been a strong
…says poverty, social neglect worse than COVID-19
The ArchBishop, Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has described the ongoing protests by Nigerian youths as symptoms of a ticking time bomb and bottled up grievances over the poor governance structure in the country.
Kaigama made this known while delivering his Homily on Sunday at St. Gabriel’s Chaplaincy, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja, on the occasion of World Mission Sunday titled ‘Here am I, send me.’
The cleric, who advised the Federal Government not to turn a deaf ear to the yearnings and demands of the protesting youths, noted that poverty and social neglect were worse than the deadly COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed over one million lives globally.
While commending the youths for maintaining a peaceful protest, he said according to the first reading taken from the Book of Isaiah, prayers must be offered for priests, religious, catechists or lay missionaries who serve in the missionary fields to give hope to people and urge them not to lift up sword against nation, or engage in war.
In his words: “We are happy that our youths are not using violence as a means of putting across their message to those in political authority in the ongoing protest against police brutality.
“The protests are only a symptom of buried grievances and time bombs planted over decades by the failure to develop political, social and economic options in favour of the youth and the future generations.
“Poverty and social neglect are worse than corona virus and they can trigger very negative reactions. We, however, urge our youths to pursue justice in the most peaceful way, but we say to our leaders, ‘O that today you listen to the voice of our young people, harden not your hearts.”
Kaigama further called for prayers for missionaries in countries including some parts of Nigeria, who were forced to preach in hiding especially in places where Christians suffer systematic violence, various forms of serious discrimination, or cannot get land to build churches in order to worship in one accord.
Recounting the many sufferings and killings of missionaries who sought to pass on the Good News Jesus Christ, he urged all baptized Christians to play an active role in evangelization regardless of their status.