As Catholic youths across the country converge on the city of Calabar for the 2018 National Youth day, Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has charged them to play a greater role in the politics of the country ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Speaking Wednesday, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish, Ikot Ansa, Calabar, venue of the programme, the governor charged youths of the 36 states of the federation including Abuja to engage only in activities that are not only godly but truly just in all spheres of life.
“Don’t allow any politician to arm you to do that which is unjust because all of us politicians keep our children at home and go back and use you in the field to do what is unjust. Shame the devil and I want to say it on record, if you look at the history of my government so far, there has been no political killing or thuggery because I am a Catholic and I know what the Bible teaches us,” Ayade said.
The governor who went biblical in his speech maintained that “I know the theory and philosophy of reverse vengeance as the Bible teaches us clearly that when a man comes against you, show him love, when he shows you hatred, show him love because only love can drive out hatred.”
He added that it was to this end that in his three years of administration, there have been no record of political killing or anybody being hunted down, just as no one found fighting government has been taken to prison, intimating that, “if we Catholics continue to work hard and take fine positions in government, we will reduce the level of killings in our land.”
The governor who enjoined the youths to adhere to the theme of the event by being strong and never be afraid of doing what is right before God and humanity said: “Make sure you go out there and get your voters cards, be strong in government, penetrate every aspect of governance so that we can bring our ecclesiastical attitude and conduct to in high places in government.”
He explained that youths must come together armed with the teachings of the Bible and Church to do only that which is good for God, pointing out that, “at the fullness of time we shall account for our deeds and living experiences on earth.”
Continuing, Ayade cautioned the youths to see themselves as the weapon, engine and instrumentality that will shun everything negative in their life, adding that, “when you come with your excess energy of the youth, please thread it with the understanding of the Bible because if you are not a child of God and you are elevated to a high place, the tendency is that you will abuse that office.”
The governor who reminded youths that only fools rise to high positions and allow the power of the office swallow them, however, charged them as children of God, to give a listening ear to the downtrodden, be simple, exhibit humility and show lots of restrain in spite of the humongous capacity of the office they seek.
Reasoning that evangelism has dropped among Catholics, Ayade who is the first Catholic governor of Cross River remarked that “we must return to that faith and never allow the church to die. We must expand and take back what God has designed for us, we must be strong in the faith and teachings of Catholicism.”
The governor who wondered why the Catholic Church which has the greatest celebration of Mass through the Holy Eucharist with an embodiment of its rich aura and liturgy of the faith could still witness the exodus of worshippers from the Church to others, enjoined the priests to arrange a retreat and a return to Catholicism for those who left out of ignorance.
According to him, “we must keep the Catholic doctrines, we cannot afford to adulterate our worship or take the church for granted, but maintain the Church as a solemn communion with God.”