The Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Ecclesiastical Province of the Catholic Church, His Eminence, Cardinal John Onaiyekan has warned that any attempt to impose one religion on others will lead to chaos in the country.
Onaiyekan made the remarks while fielding questions from reporters after a homily to mark the dedication of a Catholic Church, Our Lady Queen of Peace, built by Senator and Mrs. Victor and Amaka Ndoma-Egba, in his hometown, Akparabong, in Ikom local council area of Cross River State yesterday.
He said, “Why I had to raise the alarm is that there is rumour in town that certain people are trying to impose their religion on others. We need to shout out that anybody with such intention should desist because such intention is out to cause chaos in the nation. But if there is no such intention the rest of us should relax.”
While enjoining Christians and Muslims to be good believers, he said, “It is not by mistake that God put 80 million Christians and 80 million Muslims together in one country and we have managed to live together but certain people are trying to disunite us.
“If you think you love peace there should be a grand alliance of all men and women of goodwill across the country, north and south, all tribes, all religions. Let us link hands and work together. If we link hands and work together and spread messages of peace, then all the noise would go away”.
On 2019, Onaiyekan said, “election is a normal process in every country therefore election should not be crisis moment where the roads, streets, villages communities are loaded with armed police, army and others and the country is turned to war zone, that should not happen.
“In civilised countries, people peacefully come out and vote but in Nigeria it is war. Let the electoral committee organise election with sincerity of purpose, let the votes be properly counted and announced. It is the responsibility of the government in power to organise a free and fair election, politicians too should do same.
“For 2019 we should be able to hold a simple and civilised election. We pray the political gladiators should put their sword in their cupboard because no war has been declared.”
On the new church building, he said said it was not just enough to build a beautiful church, but that Christians have to live by faith and charity but “the church of God is supposed to be a sign and instrument of what great things God is doing in our world. Our church should be a sign of the goodness of God so that anybody who has seen the church will say this is how God’s community should be.
Senator Ndoma-Egba said the Church was the fruition of a promise he made to God when he was 11 years old and he and his wife are happy that the promise has been fulfilled.