… As Gov Yero calls for religious harmony
From NOAH EBIJE, Kaduna
In the spirit of love and forgiveness to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, Bishop of Kaduna Catholic Archdiocese, Most Reverend Ndagoso Man’oso said Catholic faithful have forgiven the Islamist sect, Boko Haram for bombing churches and killing of persons in the state.
This is even as the State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero in a press statement through his Press Secretary, Kabir Shehu Kaura, called on all Christians and the entire people of Kaduna State to be committed to religious harmony, peaceful co-existence and understanding of one another. In a Christmas message yesterday to the Catholic community in the state, Man’oso said the need to forgive Boko Haram was in line with the forgiveness Jesus Christ exhibited when he was betrayed and crucified by his enemies.
He urged all Christians to show love even to their enemies. He said the act of forgiveness was also necessary since Jesus was born on Christmas day as a peacemaker and joy to the whole world, stressing that it would amount to dishonouring Jesus to celebrate His birthday with rancor, malice and revenge. He reminded Christians that violence, political and social upheaval were witnessed during the time of Christ on earth, saying that whatever evil that was being perpetrated in these modern days by the sect should not be a thing of surprise to anybody, but to restrain the urge to retaliate as Jesus did to His attackers.
Bishop Man’oso expressed gratitude to the state government, corporate organizations and individuals who stood by the Archdiocese during the bombing and killing periods. The cleric also used the opportunity to restate his sympathy to flood victims in the state during the rainy season when some parts of the state were submerged by flood, leading to destruction of human lives, houses, farm lands, crops and roads. He expressed the fear that there might be food scarcity next year as a result of the negative impact of the flood on farmlands and crops. He appealed to farmers; particularly in the remote rural areas that were not affected by flood not to seize the opportunity to hike prices of their farm produce. “As we celebrate Christmas, we remember the killing of our members and bombing of our churches, particularly Saint Rita Catholic Church, Ungwan Yero, Badarawa, Kaduna. We can only pray for the souls of the departed to rest in peace. “We thank the state government, individuals and different organizations for standing behind us during these turbulent times. “There is nothing we can do to our enemies than to forgive them.
This Christmas time, we must show love and forgive one another for peace to reign in our society. “We should remember that over 2,000 years, during Jesus time on earth, He faced similar persecution, humiliation and death in the hands of those that supposed to love Him, but even at that he forgave them. He is born for our sake, and He died for our sake. “So violence, be it religious, political, economic and social has been there long time ago in the history of humanity. “We should not forget that the effect of last flood might cause food scarcity, it is therefore my appeal to farmers that were not affected, especially those in far away rural areas not to use middle-men and women to hike prices of their farm produce.
You should sell them at normal and affordable prices to help one another.” Governor Yero’s statement read in parts, “In this holy season of kindling the fire of hospitality, love and peace in all our hearts, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, extends his warmest felicitation to all the good people of Kaduna State. “Furthermore, he is urging all the people of the state to allow true love for their fellow human beings, for Kaduna State and for Nigeria to prevail over all forms of hatred, bitterness and malice, now and in the coming year.
“His Excellency further notes that Christmas is not only a time for celebration, but a period for sober reflections and stock taking of God’s manifold blessings to us as a people. “The Governor also believes that one of the areas we must reflect on is our relationship with God and our fellow humans. He therefore calls on all Christians and the entire people of Kaduna State to be committed to religious harmony, peaceful living and understanding of one another. “He asks them to shun tribal, ethnic and religious teachings not in consonance with that of Jesus Christ, who came as an embodiment of peace and love.”