The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has called for the rededication of the country to God to allow for a nation where everyone will live as united people.
Ignatius Kaigama, the President of CBCN and Archbishop of Jos, made the call when he led a delegation of Archbishops and Bishops on a courtesy visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki, in Benin on Thursday.
Mr. Kaigama said the bishops were in Edo to mark the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima’s Apparition.
He said the Catholic clergy would use the opportunity to seek God’s intervention for the country and pray for leaders in positions of authority.
He said that during the First World War, Lady Fatima appeared and preached a message of peace; hence the Catholic Church would use the event to pray for unity of various religious and ethnic groups in the country.
“We are in Benin to pray for peace and the reconsecration of the country; that the north and south will see themselves as one,
“Muslims and Christians will live as brothers and sisters and ethnic groups will live in harmony,” he said.
The cleric urged leaders to always engage in good works, supporting it with prayers in order to excel.
Mr. Obaseki commended the church for its pivotal role of reconciliation and stabilising the society.
He also expressed delight that the state was hosting another religious conference as the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria had held theirs earlier in the year.
The governor used the occasion to seek collaboration with the church to strengthen basic education, healthcare and social welfare services in the state.
Mr. Obaseki said that with oil prices no longer what it used to be, Nigeria’s future economy would be knowledge-driven hence Edo was keen on collaborating with the church and other groups interested in contributing to society.
The highlight of the visit was presentation of a statue of the Virgin Mary to the governor as well as prayers offered for his administration, the state and the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that The Catholic Bishops are attending the 1st National Marian Year and 3rd National Marian Congress in Nigeria in Edo.