Most Rev. Adewale Martins

Don’t allow political differences degenerate to violence, Archbishop urges Nigerians

NEWS DIGEST–The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has called for peace and harmony among the various ethnic groups in the country.

Martins made the call on Thursday in a statement while reacting to reports of violence in some parts of the state during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections.

He also urged all parties to sheathe their swords for peace and tranquillity to reign in the state.

He also urged those fuelling the embers of ethnicity and disunity in the state to desist to forestall possible breakdown of law and order.

“I wish to call on Nigerians, especially residents of Lagos not to allow their political differences degenerate into any form of violence such that will polarise the state and throw it into chaos.

“We hear of how the elections of February 23 are currently generating some tension in parts of the state with ethnic groups pitched against another.

“Lagos is a Metropolitan city and home to over 17 million Nigerians, it does not matter where we come from or which religion we profess.

“We should learn to accommodate each other’s political differences; shun violence and avoid the temptation of undermining the security of life and property of anyone.

“Lagos is known as one of the most peaceful cities in the country. Let us desist from any act capable of undermining our peaceful coexistence,” he said.

The archbishop condemned several cases of electoral violence recorded in the state.

According to him, it is “unfortunate and condemnable’’, that in spite of all the sensitisation efforts made by Churches and the Civil Society Organisations to educate the electorate on their rights and responsibilities, before, during and after elections, people are still intolerant.