The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has called on Nigerians to join forces with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja 11), and the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, in spreading the gospel of peace, unity, love, and tolerance in the country.
Most Rev. Martins made the call in Lagos Sunday night at the inauguration of the E.Y.O. Cultural Renaissance Centre and the Christmas Carol organised by the Erelu Yeye Oodua Foundation, where the two foremost monarchs were the grand royal fathers for the event.
The cleric, while delivering his sermon at the event, said Nigerians should embrace hope and show love as Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Most Rev. Martins commended Erelu Kuti IV of Lagos, Abiola Dosunmu, for her various initiatives to foster peace and unity among Nigerians, expressing optimism that the situation in the country would improve.
The cleric further urged Nigerians to carry and preach the message of hope, love, and peace like Jesus Christ, stating that the power of hope resonates with Nigerians.
“As we gather here today, united in celebration and joy, we are reminded of the true essence of Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ, our eternal hope.
“Our gathering this evening is significant, and we are truly grateful that we have been provided with the opportunity to see the realisation or an indication of what Christ desired for coming to the world and another reason to say thank you to God for being part of the celebration.
“Christ came to restore hope, to re-establish love—love of God and love of people—and also to establish peace in the world. Thanks be to God for the gift of Jesus; thanks be to God for the message of hope, peace, and love on an occasion like this where eminent people of diverse faiths sit together.
“As we prepare for the birth of Jesus, I enjoin you, our eminent people seated, to continue to preach the gospel of hope, love, unity, and peace in the country,” Martin said.
Dosumu, who is also the Yeye Oodua, stated that the Oodua Cultural Renaissance Centre will serve as a training ground for languages, promote local cuisine and art, and, in the long run, build talents and the economy.
She equally charged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love and tolerance, which were some of the virtues of Jesus Christ, saying that they should continue to live in peace and harmony as they celebrate the remembrance of the birth of Christ.