Most Rev. Martins
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Adewale Martins, on Saturday called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to do its best to ensure credible and transparent general elections in 2019.
Martins made the call at the 20th anniversary of his Episcopal ordination and sixth installation anniversary, at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.
“In the recent governorship election in Ekiti, we were regaled with stories of how votes were openly traded like a commodity put up for sale between voters and major political parties.
“What a tragedy that such a scenario was allowed to play out unchecked at a time when change in all its ramifications is the expectation of all and sundry?” he asked.
The archbishop said that Nigeria needed reconfiguration for meaningful development.
He also called for improved security and welfare of the citizens.
“Our country is rated as having a large number of impoverished citizens,’’ he said.
He urged the three tiers of government to create more jobs for the youth to curb vices.
“Millions of our university graduates are doing odd jobs -driving taxis, selling recharge cards and manning betting joints (Baba Ijebu), just to eke out a living.
“Corruption still thrives; religious intolerance, injustice, nepotism, kidnapping, armed robbery and all forms of social ills still continue to slow down development,” he said.
He called for more participation of the younger generation in governance.
According to the cleric, many youths are enterprising and possess ideas that can be tapped for national development.
“The money politics that still rule our nation makes new people who are not aligned to the old order not to find a foothold in our political landscape.
“For how long shall this continue?’’ he asked.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Martins was ordained on Sept. 18, 1983, and appointed first Bishop of Abeokuta on Oct. 24, 1997.
He was appointed the Archbishop of Lagos on July 25, 2012, and enthroned as Archbishop on Aug. 4, 2012. (NAN)