The Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West of the Anglican Communion, The Rt Rev James Odedeji has given assurance that Nigeria will soon experience a new era of prosperity despite all the negative economic indices it is currently witnessing.
He gave the assurance in a New Year message made available to Church Times by his media aide, Mr. Tunji Oguntuase.
Odedeji prayed for Nigerians and those in government. He said the time to favour Nigeria is now. “God is about to do a new thing in our country and we all shall experience it as the Lord lives.’
He prayed against the triumph of evil in the land saying, “All the elements of bad governance will not thrive in the year 2024. I am optimistic that Nigeria will experience a new awakening irrespective of the bad economic indices that the country is facing”
TIME TO WORK
The Anglican Bishop however urged all those who are in places of authority to get to work. “This is not a time to talk glibly about transformation. It is a time to work and be sincere with what God has committed into our hands. It is time for all those that have been put in charge of strategic places in governance to wake up and live up to their billing.”
He said though God has decided to favour Nigeria if we don’t do the work, we will remain impoverished and will continue to cry.
“It is the responsibility of every Nigerian to work towards a new Nigeria. It will not come by magic. If we are not ready, God won’t be ready. God will not forcefully make our land good if we are not ready to do the work.” he said.
Odedeji is the second Bishop of the diocese. He celebrated 10 years as Bishop in 2023.
The good fight of faith
He said the theme for the diocese for 2024 is: Fight the good fight of faith. The theme according to him, bears a lot of relevance for the entire nation. “Nigerians and indeed Christians are being called to fight the good fight of faith. It is the fight of righteousness. It is the fight of holiness. It is the fight to do the right thing. It is the fight not to allow corruption to thrive. As a church, we will be pursuing that theme for the whole of the year 2024.
“We are going to be encouraging our people to hold fast the profession of their faith. Our nation is bereft of men of integrity. It is time to make everybody come to that realisation that without living right we can’t get things right. Nothing happens by magic.”
Alluding to the scriptures, Odedeji said, “Paul told Timothy to fight the good fight of faith. The kind of fight Paul was asking Timothy to carry out was not a physical fight. It is a fight of faith. The fight of faith has to do with standing for the right thing and the values of the Christian faith.”
He urged Nigerians especially Christians to promoter values that will take Nigeria out of the woods. “If every Christian gets it right, Nigeria will be a better place. A stick of light gives light. If we all shine our light, it will cover the darkness that the country is steeped in.”
Stop the killings
Odedeji also called on President Bola Tinubu to work towards securing lives and property. “Nigeria can’t afford the continuous bloodletting going on in the north and some other parts of Nigeria. It is time for our president to ensure that our security chiefs are up and doing. We have lost too many lives.
“The security of the country is at the doorstep of the President. He is the commander-in-chief. Innocent lives are being lost daily. We are appealing that President Tinubu should act fast and ensure that all the security chiefs are doing their work and they are not being compromised.”
The cleric also appealed to every Nigerian to be their neighbours’ keepers. “Government must protect lives and properties. But we the citizens have a responsibility to help the government by ensuring that we support every effort to secure lives. We should assist the police with information of where criminals are hiding so they can be dealt with.”
He decried the ongoing killings in the north urging religious and community leaders to prevail on their people to live by the rules of the land. “It is expected that the killings in the North should be a thing of the past. But it is still very much with us. This is sad. We can only pray and call for peace. May the Lord grant our leaders wisdom on how to handle this persistent state of insecurity of lives and property.”