Don’t Take Nigerians For Granted, Okojie Advises Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Don’t Take Nigerians For Granted, Okojie Advises Buhari

Posted: Jun 17, 2016 at 6:14 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

 …Urges President To Go Back To His Inaugural Speech, APC Manifesto


Nkasiobi Oluikpe

LAGOS – His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okojie has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to take the goodwill he is currently enjoying from Nigerians for granted, saying that Nigeria of 20 years ago is not Nigeria of today.

Okojie, who spoke during his 80th birthday celebration which took place at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, on Thursday, urged the president to do all that is necessary now to revamp the economy before things get out of hands.

The Archbishop Emeritus of Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos lamented that the country is in dire need of leaders who would unite and not divide it as well as a constitutional arrangement that would usher in a just and humane relations.

He said that Nigeria does not need one that legitimises the exploitation of the resources of the land with little or no attention to the needs of the people who own the land.

“At this stage of my life, I can only advise and admonish our policy makers, especially in the education sector, that are now battling with the lives of innocent children, to allow education to flourish; for if education does not flourish, our country cannot flourish. You have already seen it in some parts of the country. We have seen it in some of our children’s behaviours.

“If President Buhari wants to make a quick turn back, he should take his inaugural speech and the All Progressive Congress manifesto, study them and then start afresh. That is my advice,” he stated.

Reacting to the ongoing hijab issue in Osun State, he vehemently stated that it was wrong as “the people, were gradually sneaking in.”

The Archbishop Emeritus remarked that he was feeling something that is not yet manifest, something he said former President Ibrahim Babangida tried and failed.

“They are sneaking in; I am feeling something that is not yet manifest. IBB tried it during the OIC and he failed. He said he attended the meeting as an observer. How can you, because you are president, without your Senate and House of Reps, go there, and say you are an observer. Who sent you there? And the people he met over there did not ask him, ‘Who sent you there and where are your people?’ Now he failed.

“Now, they are again going gradually; this is just another move. That is the way they move in, just stealthily. Look at what El-Rufai is doing in Kaduna; you are journalists. Can’t you see it, that is the way they move in and then gradually, they sneak back again, just like a snake. ‘A snake is never dead until you see it dead.’ That is exactly what they are doing. They move from one place to another one, then they hide and then come out again,” he stated.

For the newly elected Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) president, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, he advised that he should be what God asks him to be as well as what he calls himself ‘the man of God’.

He added that he should do everything following the will of God and not just the voice of his conscience, nor following the Baptist Church. On the contrary, he admonished him to follow the whole Nigerians without which he will not succeed.

“And then, he has to be careful about money, because that is what is ruining that association. It wasn’t like that when we were there for eight years. Can you imagine that then everything came through the presidency and through me and that is why it was so strong. We were all united.

“You have just told me now that a Baptist won. It should be unheard of in the Christian association. The body itself elects, they don’t care to know if you are a Catholic or from any other denomination. So that is what is killing them because the Baptist people will start rallying round him and it will become a political camp which is wrong. I think if he wants to succeed, the fear of God must be there,” he also advised.

Advising that the nation cannot be turned into a warfare zone, he added that what he said to the political leaders also applies to the religious leaders, too, as they cannot claim to be religious leaders when what they do is to their own political and economic advantage.

“God has not authorised us to preach a religion that impoverishes our people, intellectually and morally,” he insisted.