The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John-Cardinal Onaiyekan, has charged all Nigerians to be involved in politics in order to fast track the development of the nation.
Onaiyekan made the call while marking his 35th anniversary as a bishop and the ordination of nine bishops, held at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria, Pro-Cathedral Catholic Church, on Saturday in Abuja.
He admonished politicians on the need to be selfless, patriotic and serve the people with the fear of God, while calling on Nigerians to get more involved in politics.
“Every citizen must be involved in politics, even Reverend fathers and Cardinal. I am involved in politics.
“Only people who are irresponsible will say they are not interested; even if you are not interested in politics, politics will be interested in you.
“If we are to ask now, how many Nigerians are card-carrying members of political parties? I am not sure we will be up to 10 per cent.
“In the readings of today, God is telling all of us his people that those at the frontline must be servants of all. Politics is not supposed to be aimed at gaining power for selfish interest,’’ he said.
Onaiyekan called on newly-ordained priests to say the truth at all times as their priesthood was a gift from God and they should not take their task for granted.
“Do not take for granted the fact that you are declared worthy by the priest today, because you are not.
“The moment you think you are worthy; from that point on, you are nothing.
“Say the truth: but be careful, don’t be stupid. Your priesthood is a gift from God. We have all kinds of men of God.
“Carry out the ministry of Christ with constant joy and generally not attending to your personal interest but the general welfare of the church.
He called on Nigerians to pray for the peace and unity of the country, especially with the herdsmen/farmers clashes and the Boko Haram crisis, insisting that only arms and ammunition would not solve the problem.