It was a weekend of celebrations beginning from Saturday June 1 when the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, His Grace, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, celebrated his 60th Birthday with a Thanksgiving Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral Lagos; while on Sunday, it was the 53rd World Communication Day with the theme “‘We are Members of Another’ (Ephesian 4, 25} From Social Network Communities to the Human Community”, Where Martins also addressed a press conference. CYRIACUS NNAJI reports.
His Grace, Most Reverend (Dr) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, has set agenda for the Federal Government, calling for an end to senseless killings and insecurity in the country.
Martins made the call during his 60th Birthday Thanksgiving Mass at Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos on Saturday, June 1.
“There are too many killings going on and this is certainly a major area of concern, and we expect that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the one who also has responsibility over the police, will throw out all the arsenal of government in ensuring that these killings are brought to an end,” Martins said.
Setting further agenda for President Muhammadu Buhari in the new political dispensation, the bishop said that the federal government has been subjected to different kinds of criticisms over the past years and that Nigeria expect the government to listen to the people’s complaints.
“The federal government has been subjected to different kinds of criticisms over the past years and we expect something different will happen, in terms of listening to the criticisms of the past, the president has told us in several of his statements that criticism of the past will drive him this time, and we are looking forward to it seriously, particularly with respect to the whole situation of the structure of this nation.
“The structure of this nation as it is today is not allowing us to reach the maximum measure of development we can have as a nation.
“And so we are happy that the president is talking about restoring the federal Character that this nation ought to have, a federal character that was distorted by the time the military came in, and which we have not succeeded in reversing since the last 20 years of civilian government. So these are the kind of things we are expecting.
Speaking on his birthday which he marked with the unveiling of two books: The Grace to Live: Selected Homilies, and The Voice of a Shepherd: Selected Messages of Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, the Bishop disclosed that he was happy.
“There is lots of gratitude to God, for all the blessings this 60 years, and thanks to all those God has used all these years to bless me in so many ways, Martins said.”
He also announced the establishment of a foundation to empower the youth. “The foundation is an effort to follow up on idea that the young ones need to be encouraged more than ever before, the situation in our country is such that beyond government effort, it is also important that we have private effort, helping to get the young people on the right footing; that is the rationale behind the foundation. The foundation is supposed to assist young people in terms of empowerment. At this point in time we have the plan of beginning a technical institute that will provide practical skills for technical and other similar endeavours.
“It is our hope that this foundation should be able to help us in getting the institute going and then of course giving some measure of empowerment to those who finish from the institute; that for me is what this celebration is all about; that whatever it is that people offered in terms of gift will go into establishing this foundation, and whatever proceed comes from the two books that are going to be presented will also go into this foundation because the young people are in a very dire state in this country” Martins stated.
Speaking on Sunday at a press conference to mark the 53rd World Communications Day Martins reiterated call by Pope Francis drawing attention to the value of the social network; asking that “We should move from social network communities to human community.” He said social network communities, good as they are, cannot and should not replace human community; “Because it is in this human community that we feel, that we see, that we touch, that we experience emotions and so this has a value which cannot be replaced by social network communities; that understanding is what I see clearly from the message of the Holy Father today. This as it were leads to the awareness of some of the challenges that arise from social network communities,” Martins stated.
He answered questions ranging from security, Fulani Radio, challenges faced by Catholic faithful. He decried the establishment of Fulani radio, saying both the establishment of the Fulani radio and President Muhammadu Buhari’s attendance at the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) meeting immediately after being sworn in for the second term is capable of creating tension at a time a section of the country is being accused of Fulanisation and islamization of the nation.