Don’t Be Coercive, Archbishop of Lagos Warns El-Rufai | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Don’t Be Coercive, Archbishop of Lagos Warns El-Rufai

Posted: Mar 26, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Chinyere Abiaziem LAGOS

Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, the Archbishop of Lagos, has warned Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the Kaduna State governor, not to be coercive but to be considerate in the manner he presides over the affairs of the state.

This is coming against the backdrop of the religious regulation bill Governor el-Rufai recently presented to the state assembly, which has generated lots of opposition, since it came to public knowledge.

Archbishop Martins spoke during the Chrism Mass at The Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos Island.

The Archbishop said that Nigeria’s Constitution guarantees freedom of worship, which negates what the bill intends to achieve.

He said: “One thing we know is that the constitution of the country guarantees freedom of worship and if there is any bill or side law that is going to restrict freedom of worship that bill certainly should not see the light of the day.

“I hope that the governor and government of Kaduna state will listen to what the state has to say and take it seriously, because democracy is about the good of the people.

“So it is necessary for the government to listen to what the people have to say and not just driving things down their throats.

“There may be good intention behind the law but it is important that in making the law for the people let the people be able to have a say so that the law can be effective in the first instance.”

On the essence of the Chrism Mass, he said it was to commemorate the institution of the priesthood which includes the blessing of different oils that would be used in all the liturgical celebrations such as Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination and anointing of the sick throughout the liturgical year.

On Good Friday, he explained:  “We re-enact the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. It is a day when we are expected to fix our eyes on the Cross at Calvary.

“I enjoin Christians, and indeed all Nigerians, to continue to pray for the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in its effort to rid the nation of corruption and reposition the dwindling economy for good, even as they reflect on the essence of the death of Jesus Christ which is marked as Good Friday.”