The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Dr Alfred Adewale Martins has enjoined Nigerians to be optimistic and embrace a positive mind-set as they enter the New Year 2022.
The Archbishop, who made the call in his New Year message, admitted that there were indeed numerous challenges which characterized year 2021, but urged Nigerians to look beyond the shortfalls and negatives of the past and approach the New Year with optimism and positive expectations.
He advised Nigerians to shun every fear and apprehension by the predictions of doom that are being circulated in the social media space.
“We should simply be full of prayers, committing all our experiences to God rather than dwell on such predictions that can only lead to depression and further mental anguish.
“We thank the good Lord for making it possible for us to see the New Year. As we celebrate, let us remember our brothers and sisters who passed on during the year, thereby ending their earthly journey. We pray that their souls find lasting peace with God.
“For those of us who are still alive, let us remember the admonition of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace to us: not to fret or fear over tomorrow, but to live with the courage and belief that each day is in the hands of God, and He has the blueprint by which He will make our lives better in the coming year.
“On our part, we must do that which is right and good towards our neighbours, living in peace and harmony with everyone.
“We must not allow the predictions of doom and other challenges that we face to lead us to question the presence of God even in our circumstances. He is able to turn around all things for good,” Martins said.
He also sounded a note of caution for the political class in positions of leadership, particularly the executive arm of government, to be more proactive in addressing the fears being expressed by many Nigerians.
“There are very many issues plaguing the nation and agitating the minds of citizens. These call for the urgent attention of our rulers especially the Legislature and the Executive.
“The most pressing on people at this time is in the area of insecurity which claimed thousands of lives in the outgoing year.
“It is such a serious problem that Government needs to explore new and better ways of dealing with this issue in such a way that Nigerians would be assured of better security in the new year.
“Another area of concern that touches people every single day is the economy. The inflation level is too high even as the value of our currencies are nose-diving daily. We can all feel the consequences of high inflation rate and the value of our currency that has nose-dived.
“As we begin the Year 2022, the Federal Government must be taking further steps to reappraise its economic policies and inject fresh ideas to cushion the effects of the harsh economy on the masses and mitigate the suffering that would arise from the projected economic challenges of the new year,” the Archbishop urged.
The cleric called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to leave any stone unturned in his efforts at safeguarding the lives and properties of Nigerians in the new year and where necessary.