The universal head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has called for collaboration among world leaders and renew their relations with one another to ensure fraternity among the nations of the world.
Francis made the call on the sideline of the 49th World Day of Peace, celebrated by Catholic faithful on Friday.
The Pope’s message entitled “Overcome Indifference and Win Peace” was read by Archbishop Adewale Martins of the Catholic Archdiocese Lagos at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.
Francis in the message appealed to world leaders to make concrete gestures in favour of their brothers and sisters, who suffer from the lack of labour, land and lodging.
“I will like to make a threefold appeal to the leaders of nations to refrain from drawing other peoples into conflicts, which destroy not only their material, cultural and social legacy, but also their moral and spiritual integrity.
“To forgive or manage in a sustainable way the international debts of the poorer nations; and to adopt policies of cooperation, which will respect the values of local populations.
“I am thinking of the creation of dignified jobs to combat the social plague of unemployment, which affects many families and young people, with grave effects for society as a whole.
“Unemployment takes a heavy toll on people’s sense of dignity and hope, and can only be partially compensated for by welfare benefits provided to the unemployed and their families.
“Special attention needs to be given to women, who still encounter discrimination in the workplace.
“And to some categories of workers, whose conditions are precarious or dangerous, and whose pay is not commensurate to the importance of their social mission,’’ the Pontiff said.
Later, Archbishop Adewale Martins, while responding to questions from newsmen, urged Nigerians to put aside their differences and embrace peace, love and care for one another.
He urged them to consider the nation as one united entity, saying that there are many divisions particularly, along ethnicity and religion.
“I believe that if the challenges that we faced on the economy is faced as a unit and everybody is working in the same direction, we will overcome the challenges.
“I believe that this step will help us to achieve peace,’’ he said.
Martins urged the three tiers of government to train and provide necessary amenities and incentives for the security agencies.
The prelate also urged the nation’s leaders to lead the citizens with the fear of God.
He advised them to be cautious of their actions, since they would one day give accounts of their stewardships to God.