Illegal Migration: If I Was President Of That Nation, I Will Resign – Onaiyekan

 

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan has decried the alarming rate of illegal migration by Nigerian youths and called on the Federal Government to make the country habitable.

The prelate, at a news conference in Abuja on Saturday, ahead of the church’s national conference on irregular migration, added that if the country is inhabitable, youths would leave with the mindset that things will be better abroad.

He urged the youths to be patient because they are considered unwanted as illegal migrants.

“If you are an illegal migrant, you have no right wherever you are; you are likely to be manipulated, exploited. You cannot even complain if you are not being treated well, because when you do and go to the police, the first thing they ask you is, where are your papers? If you have no papers, then you have no standing.

“It is a terrible thing to live in a nation where you are considered unwanted, and because of the difficulty of crossing these boundaries, illegal migration leads to trafficking.”

READ ALSO: Be Cautious Of New Tricks By Traffickers, NAPTIP Warns Nigerian Youths

He advised that the best way to curb illegal migration is to make the country habitable, so people can travel at will and with dignity.

“The first remedy is to make Nigeria the home of Nigerians, not that they shouldn’t travel, but do so when and how they want to, freely and with dignity.

“When they now make Nigeria in a way that home becomes uninhabitable, that the youths just want to get out, you hear young people saying that there is no way it won’t be better out there.

“If you live in a nation where your young people are telling you this, then what kind of nation is that?, If I was president of that nation, I will resign,” he maintained.

Jonathan, Pope Promise To Promote Inter-Faith Dialogue

vlcsnap-2014-03-22-22h32m55s47President Goodluck Jonathan at the Vatican City conferred with Pope Francis I on the promotion of inter-faith dialogue in Nigeria and other parts of the world to foster greater global peace and security.

Speaking to journalists after his private meeting with Pope Francis, President Jonathan said that the promotion of inter-faith dialogue was a cause to which the pontiff was very committed.

The president who said that his administration was already working in close collaboration with Cardinal John Onaiyekan who was “the team leader” for the effort to strengthen inter-faith dialogue in Nigeria, assured the pope of his administration’s continued commitment to the promotion of religious harmony and the peaceful co-existence of people of all faiths.

In their meeting, the President assured the Pope of diligence in the administration’s effort to alleviate poverty in the land. He also gave the pope an update on the interfaith programme in Nigeria.

The Pope, President Jonathan said, also assured him that he would continue to pray for God Almighty to bless the country and its people.

“My coming to see the Pope was to discuss issues, especially that of inter-faith dialogue which the Vatican has been promoting.

“Also the Pope has been advocating that the world should do more to eradicate poverty and make sure that the ordinary people of this world are in a position to live more decent lives. The Pope is very dedicated to poverty alleviation and I also interfaced with him on how we can collaborate more with the Vatican on what we are already doing in this regard back home,” the President said.

After his private meeting with President Jonathan, Pope Francis received the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof Viola Onwuliri, Governor Godswill Akpabio and his spouse, Governor Gabriel Suswam, former Governor Peter Obi and his spouse, the wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark and other members of the President’s entourage.

Others present at the enlarged audience with the Pope included Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Vatican, Dr. Francis C. Okeke, the Chaplain of the Presidential Villa, Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba and Chief Mike Oghiadomhe.

Before leaving the Vatican, President Jonathan also conferred with the Secretary of State, Monsignor Pietro Parolin. He had received Nigeria’s Vatican-based Cardinal Francis Arinze earlier in the day at the St. Regis Hotel in Rome.

 

Bad Character Not Religion Responsible For Violence In Nigeria – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned religious violence in the country saying that those who kill in the name of religion cannot be said to be worshipping god.

President Jonathan

President Jonathan made the observation in his remarks at a service organised to mark the 30th Episcopal Ordination and Celebration of the Elevation of Cardinal John Onaiyekan as a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria, Pro-Cathedral, Area 3, Garki, Abuja.

The president described Cardinal Onaiyekan as a bridge builder and a true messenger of God expressing the confidence that one day the papal father will come from Nigeria.

He observed that most of the violence in society stem from people of questionable characters and called on the church to braze up to the responsibility of moulding people’s character.

The president said, “The Church, the government and the political actors have the same responsibilities and we believe that the Church is at the centre of society building.

“Some of the challenges we face today arise because of the character our people have.

“If the Church moulds the people especially starting from the children, Nigeria will be a better place,” he said.

He congratulated Cardinal Onaiyekan on his elevation, describing it is a significant achievement and honour for the clergyman and the nation.

He described the office of a cardinal in the Catholic Church as a position of great responsibility and service to humanity.