Catholic Bishop of Onitsha Diocese in Anambra State, Most Reverend Valerian Okeke, has asked Nigerians to embrace peace in spite of the global COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn, unemployment and violence.
In a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, Okeke said: “Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus and all men and women of goodwill, I bring you warm greetings of peace.”
He charged all Christians and non-Christians to depend on God to enable them to face the realities of the moment, the challenges of Coronavirus, increasing global economic downturn and the near hopeless situation engendered by massive unemployment, violence and youth restiveness.
Citing the words of Pope Francis, he earnestly appealed to all men and women of goodwill to dream of peace and a better future, adding: “In his recent book titled: Let Us Dream, the Pope assures us that it is the path to a better future.”
He said Nigerians should dream of a better country where brotherhood would be the norm, while ethnicity, discrimination and marginalisation would be confined to history.
Okeke also pleaded with Nigerians to pray for a nation where Boko Haram, bandits and men of violence would be stories of the past.
“Let us embark on actions that will bring peace and let us dream of peace, plan for peace and make peace actions our habit. If you can dream it, with God you can make it happen.
“For nothing is impossible with God. May God bless us with a more peaceful Nigeria and a better world filled with peace through Jesus Christ our Lord,” he implored.