Bishop Ignatius Kaigama

…exposes tricks being deployed by politicians for 2023

Nigerian leaders who looted public and individual treasuries should learn from the biblical Zacchaeus and return the stolen funds to all those they duped and seek forgiveness from God, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, advised on Sunday.

He also said Nigeria would only experience greater success when greed changes to generosity and selfishness to selflessness.

According to him, all the proceeds of crime and recovered national assets should be put to judicious use, including building first-class, well-equipped and properly managed hospitals in every geo-political zone with citizens having easy access to them.

The cleric also exposed the tricks being deployed by politicians to win the 2023 election.

Kaigama stated these in his Homily delivered at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral in Abuja with the theme, “The Merciful Face of God.”

The cleric recalled that by entering the house of Zacchaeus, Jesus showed love to the sinner, but hated his sin, adding that He restored his dignity and sense of self-worth. 

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He said, “Zacchaeus thus broke away from his sinful habits and past ways to recreate a healthy relationship with God. His solemn announcement of his firm commitment to doing justice by sharing his wealth with the poor and making restitution fourfold to the defrauded should be a vade mecum (a guide for ready reference) for our leaders who have for long deprived the poor so much. 

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“This is a call to mindfulness in our nation, where large sums of money meant for the public good are stolen, misappropriated and diverted by those in political offices and public service. It is not enough to have a change of heart and repent of past sins but to restore to the rightful owners what is truly theirs. 

“We continue to hope that the financial crimes and nation crippling activities will be curbed by the relevant financial crime agencies and the recovered national assets will be put into judicious use such as building first class, well equipped and properly managed hospitals in every geopolitical zone with citizens having easy access to them.

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“It is so sad that some of these funds are recovered only to be stolen again by others. Zacchaeus was willing to take up his social responsibility towards his neighbours and so proves for us a model of a new political culture, giving up kleptocratic tendencies for equity and fairness to hold sway.

“Our nation will experience greater successes when greed changes to generosity and selfishness to selflessness. In this political season, people, depending on their political leaning, loyalty or sensitivity are filled with morbid fear and demonstrate paranoid political tendencies and hypersensitivity. Some people want to fight their way to power. Some apply the allure of money; some by gentle persuasion, but some, by hook or by crook. 

“Some are so bitter that they neither forgive nor forget political wrongs even if they profess belief in God. Some exclude dialogue and friendly encounters and if you dare to say a good word, a positive word, about an opposition partner, or be seen in his/her company you become their instant enemy. This is what I call immature politics or politics without principles or decorum. 

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“Such people can unleash venomous anger on others for daring to be different. Instead of wooing you, they try to antagonize or even dehumanize you; making you feel you are committing an offence. Why fight and be ready to injure others for political interests? 

“Ready to terminate life or assassinate character? Rubbish others even when you know deep within you that it is not right? Today, we should open up our hearts and minds to God, and ask Jesus to reach out to all of us as He did to Zacchaeus. We ask for an outpouring of grace to be true to our personal commitments.”

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