By Joseph Ayinde
The Catholic Archbishop of the Abuja Archdiocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has urged the federal government not to ignore genuine agitations and the clamour by Nigerians for social justice, inclusive governance and improved security.
He urged the government to address factors that pushed the youth and professionals to other countries for greener pastures.
Kaigama, while delivering his homily at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish yesterday in Abuja lamented the insecurity and economic crisis plaguing the nation.
He, however, said the solution to the problems was for the federal government to listen and address the concerns of the people for social justice and inclusive governance.
Kaigama said: “The government must on its part pay particular attention to the genuine agitations and clamour of Nigerians for social justice, inclusive governance, improved security, adequate social services increased youth empowerment and seek ways of meeting the legitimate needs of the masses.
“Nigeria must celebrate her own, failure of which forces our young people to escape elsewhere due to what an ancient philosopher Protagoras, would describe as ‘might is right,’ namely, where the rich, influential and powerful are always right, and even those who fleece our common patrimony are bestowed with prestigious traditional, religious, academic or national honours.”
Speaking on youth exodus to foreign countries, Kaigama said apart from not being empowered, the youths were neglected and their efforts not adequately appreciated by the government.
He added: “Our youths likewise feel unappreciated at home, and so, their faith in the country is shaken and they prefer to flee to other prosperous countries in search of greener pastures. Countries abroad become the beneficiaries of some of our best fleeing intellectuals, experts and skilled personnel.
“Little wonder, the US, UK, Canadian and other embassies in Nigeria are often crowded by young people seeking visas to ‘check out’. My plea to those who have no other choice than to leave our fatherland is to come back after finding knowledge, treasure and socio-economic balance.
“Do not forget your roots, culture and language or allow the frustrations you experienced at home to make you hate your fatherland/motherland. May God grant you success, and when you succeed, look back on your beloved country with magnanimity, and seek to promote her interests”.
Kaigama urged the Catholic Church not to neglect any segment of the society – the children, the teenagers, the youth, the women groups, adding that it will not augur well to “misunderstand, scorn, despise, reject or undermine anyone’s gifts and contributions.”
“It is my earnest prayer and desire that God will renew in the hearts of all of us a prophetic zeal, and grant us the grace that is sufficient for us even as we face insecurity, economic hardships and personal crises,” he added.