.Anglican Primate urges Nigerians to circumcise their hearts
From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday revealed that suspects behind the bombings of Police Headquarters, UN Building in Abuja, St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla and others, have been arrested. He disclosed this when he and First Lady, Dame Patience, his mother, some lawmakers and members of his cabinet attended the naming and circumcision of Jesus Christ and New Year service, held at the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Diocese of Abuja, All Saints’ Church, Zone 5, Wuse.
He reassured that the New Year would be better for Nigeria, noting that he had laid solid foundations for the critical sectors. According to him, government would continue to provide employment for youths and encourage entrepreneurship. “The church’s prayers have been helping us to stabilise the country at the time of our challenges. There was time when the country was drifting and everyone thought the country would not endure but the prayers rescued us.
We have moved to another phase of terror, kidnapping and armed robbery but these are momentary challenges. “I receive constant briefings on security daily, though we don’t publish them. Most of the terror suspects had been arrested. People may not know what our men in uniform have been doing, they have been doing a lot to check the situation. The people, who bombed Force Headquarters, United Nations building in Abuja and St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla have been arrested.
We will continue to improve on our security architecture. “The New Year will be better for the country. We have a huge population and we will continue to provide employment for our people and encourage entrepreneurship,” he said. He blamed Nigeria’s problems on the attitude of the citizenry. “It’s ambition to get rich overnight that leads to robbery, kidnapping and all sorts of crime.” In his sermon, titled: “Circumcise your heart”, the Primate of Anglican Communion, Nigeria, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, urged Nigerians to circumsise their hearts – the church, businessmen, civil servants and politicians at all levels.
He also challenged teachers and academicians as well as students, who dress indecently on campuses to “circumsise their hearts.” He told market women, who sell fake products, petrol dealers and transporters, who hike prices in festive periods, kidnappers, armed robbers and Boko Haram sect to “circumcise their hearts”. Okoh also advised youths, who are in a haste to ride Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV), having graduated from school to circumsise their hearts and be patient. According to him, traditional rulers, university authorities, who sell doctorate degrees and titles to those who are not worthy of them also need to “circumsise their hearts.”
To be regarded as uncircumcised means you are a godless person. Jesus demonstrated his circumcision by being obedient. We ought to be obedient to God’s laws. Circumcision as it affects us today means cutting off sin, corruption, bitterness and so on and so forth. “As we enter the New Year, we should cut off certain things. I ask Nigerian clergy, business community, who exploit people, civil servants, who hide files, politicians at all levels, teachers, who persecute girls for refusing to sleep with them, traders, who sell substandard products, transporters, who hike prices, petroleum product sellers, who shortchange Nigerians, kidnappers, armed robbers and Boko Haram to circumcise their hearts.
“This is important so that in the New Year, we will build a nation that our children will be proud of. Those looking for opportunity to make money without working; young graduates, seeking for contracts instead of employment, who want to ride SUVs; this is a deformity of the heart. It is a wrong lifestyle to start from the top. All of us Nigerians should circumcise our hearts. “The name of Jesus Christ must not be joked with, else when you need Him to work for you and you evoke the name it will not work.
“Some of us have to limit our lives to just money while God can give you a name, a promotion that is bigger than money. Nigeria shall rise up and walk in 2013. “The year 2013 is a trackless sea, a desert. The guiding hand you have is that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The most important thing for those holding high, low and oversized responsibilities in the nation is to bind Jesus to yourself and it shall be well.
“God will be gracious to us as a people and to our nation, Nigeria,” he said The Old Testament lesson was read by First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, from Genesis. 17: 9-16. Also present to worship with the president were Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd.) and Minister of State, FCT, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide, presidential aides, amongst others.