The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Adewale Martins, has urged Nigerians not to allow the current economic hardship in the country to deter them from developing a deeper relationship with their creator.
Martins, in his Easter message on Friday, said a life devoid of God is not worth living.
The cleric, who said there was no problem that God could not solve, assured Nigerians that the Almighty had not abandoned them.
“God will surely right all the wrongs inflicted on the country over the years by selfish and greedy leaders,’’ he said.
Martins noted with dismay how many people were losing hope, warning that suicide was not and would never be an escape route from the present economic hardship.
“I have read about people jumping into the lagoon to commit suicide. This is very unfortunate. We must not allow the devil to speak words of despair into our minds and hearts such that we lose hope.
“No one has the right to end his or her life. All life belongs to God. If you commit suicide you are only compounding issues.
“You selfishly inflict pain and hardship on the people you left behind, you also will have to give an account to God who created you,’’ he said.
The cleric urged Nigerians to use the lessons learnt during trying times to show more empathy for those in any sort of need — psychological, emotional or material.
“When we assist one another, I believe we will collectively surmount these trying times.
“On the other hand, the growing rate of suicide should also make our government to hasten up on the economic recovery plan.
“The hardship in the country is beyond imagination and we see it every day. While the plan is being put in place, government needs to provide more palliative measures that would cushion the effects of the hardship.
“All the moneys being recovered and returned should be utilised to make life more bearable for the common man. May God bless our country Nigeria,” he said.
The cleric congratulated Christians for the successful completion of the Lenten season of fasting and penance.
He urged them to rejoice that Christ, through his death and resurrection, has purchased for humanity the joy of eternal life.
Martins said: “Easter is the most important of time in the Christian Calendar. There are 50 days of Easter from the first Sunday to Pentecost.
“It is characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and victory over death, expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of the Christian, Alleluia!
“All other expressions of faith flow from faith in the resurrection: “If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty too is your faith.” (1 Cor 15:14).