By Rev. Fr. Anthony Okelue

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: Nigeria is in no doubt in dire need of newness or renewal in terms of praxis and conceptual leaning; this is so because the old order, present order more so is grossly inadequate to sustain the total wellbeing of her citizens and inhabitants.

A true and patriotic Nigeria youth especially having acquired formal and functional education, should by the fact of their learning be able to objectively X-ray the situation of the country in matters of politics, economics, religion and other indices of life’s situation.

Many Nigerians are already suffering pain, agony, sorrow, and appointment of national leadership and many are downcast etc. The conscientious Nigerian youth who wants to make a change should strive to reduce the sufferings of Nigerians and not to aggravate them by financial fraudulent practices and ritual killings for money like we see nowadays.

The Nigerian youth must first and foremost, live out excellence, believing in themselves and seeking ways to do things differently. But what is the percentage of those who have this kind of mindset? Small, I think. However, truth and freedom may not necessarily be found with the majority. Many may feel this is nonsensical because it does not guarantee quick reward. However, men and women who make history must think in the light of positive change which necessarily takes a toll on their time, resources, set goals, friendship and relationship etc. however, when their struggles and in victory end great achievements, they are celebrated for life and they remain models for life too.

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The Nigerian youth for development should as a matter of importance band together with people of like mind as himself or herself for meaningful impact or result in their drive, quest and action for a new and better Nigeria.

The new Nigeria we need is one in which the Justice system is strong, healthy, functional and respected by all and sundry which in turn renders services to everyone in equity without fear or favour. The reset button that Nigeria needs in order to work well is no doubt the button of Justice.

We need a new Nigeria where basic amenities in terms of health care delivery, education, power (electricity) supply, road network and communication are taken for granted.

To achieve this, the Nigerian youth in this endeavour must be resilient, tenacious, focused, open minded objective, critical and open to truth.

The advantage of sound moral and religious background can only be invaluable in order to recreate Nigeria and set her once again on the right path of positive development and on par with other nations in the comity of nations.

The Catholic youth has an important role to play in the emergence of a new Nigeria because he/she has been equipped with the gifts of faith and morals from his/her religious background, and foundation.

The Catholic Church is very rich in her culture and tradition of social teaching whose plumbline is the common good of all. From the writings of the Fathers of the Church, the great insight of her many sons and daughters, from Papal encyclicals, public opinions of Catholic Bishops’ conferences in various regions of the world and fundamentally, from the Magisterium of the Church, the Catholic youth has got great source of inspiration to make meaningful contribution to a new Nigeria that truly and really works.

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A Catholic youth understands clearly that Nigeria is in distress and the situation is not getting any better. Our woes culminate in the senseless killings and constant threats to life.

To create a new Nigeria is not an easy task, however, it is achievable. The Catholic Nigerian youth must, therefore, create a formidable voice of reason that matters in the society. Through this voice, many other good things will naturally full in place for good. Creating a voice is a role Catholic youth in Nigeria must achieve in order to make a meaningful impact and progress in building our nation.

The prophet Daniel gives the Nigerian Catholic youth a lead in the right direction thus: Daniel 9:4b-10O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and merciful love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and ordinances; we have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness,  but to us confusion of face, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those that are near and those that are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery which they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness; because we have rebelled against him, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 

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 There is confusion in Nigeria, and to clear this maze entails hard work but on a deeper level divine help and intervention like the youthful Daniel did for his people and land, Israel. The Nigerian Catholic youth will surely make a meaningful impact of change and development if they hold firmly to the truth of their faith humbly and sincerely praying for the healing of Nigeria and for the emergence of a new and healthy Nigeria.  

… Fr. Okelue is a Priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna.

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