By Oluwabukola Akanni
Ibadan – Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Catholic Diocese of Oyo on Sunday advised Nigerians to embrace unity, love and peace in order to enhance national growth and development.
Badejo gave this advice when he delivered a sermon at an Easter church service in Ibadan.
He also urged parents to raise God fearing children to secure the nation’s future.
“Every authentic religion, which claims to seek freedom, must embrace peace and unity.
“Let us respect the rights of each other. God is not party to violence and wickedness.
“May God release all Nigerians from greed, wickedness and false religiosity,” the cleric said.
According to him, Easter celebration teaches Christians to be faithful under every circumstance.
The cleric made reference to the abducted Dapchi student, Leah Sharibu, who refused to renounce her faith.
“Through the sad abduction and non-release of the teenager, Leah Sharibu, God reminds us of what it really means to know Him.
“How wicked can people be to a mere innocent teenager in the name of religion? But through her example what excuse can believers in God have not to do what they know to be right and just?
“No matter how things go, Leah has become a blessing and model to her family and to our generation.
“Let us shun the false religion that says once you believe, you will never have trouble,” he said.
The cleric said that Jesus remained true and authentic to his calling and that was the reason he achieved for Christians victory over evil, betrayal and death.
He said that every Christian must, therefore, endeavour to emulate the character that was seen in Christ.
“Darkness yields to light, sorrow to joy and death to life. Though the entire world opposed the faithful man, God will vindicate him.
“That is why Jesus makes the difference. No matter what we face in the course of life, we must be steadfast.
“Christianity teaches us to be truthful, peaceful, forgiving, generous and God fearing, otherwise we cannot be salt of the earth and light of the world.
“Trouble must come and tribulations may occur, but through it all we must not allow anything to take all that goodness away from us.
“That is why Saint Paul exclaimed: ‘What can separate us from the love of Christ?” he said.
“I call on all families and all Nigerians to do more to teach young people to be God-fearing, truthful, persevering and honest in order to save the future.
“Let our politicians, business men, civil servants and everyone emulate Jesus Christ and be courageous in doing what is right and pleasing to God.
“At the end of it all, God will vindicate you. May God hear the prayers of Nigeria for the release of all who are in captivity,” he said.