By: Kate Obi/Kaduna
The Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna, His Grace, Most Reverend Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso has said, with the virtues of the slain traditional ruler, late Dr. Galadima Raphael Maiwada such as meekness, poverty of spirit, justice, mercy, purity of heart, faith and hope are gate pass to heaven, the Agom Adara will join the company.
Archbishop Ndagoso who made this known in his homily delivered at the funeral mass of late Agom Adara, Dr. Galadima Raphael Maiwada at Saint John’s Catholic Church, Kachia, Southern Kaduna part of the state on 10th of November 2018 was deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic and gruesome murder of Agom Adara.
According to him, if this is to happen, all hands must be on deck to find a better way out of the circle of violence that some parts of the state are embroiled in, adding that if we must achieve lasting peace in the state, there is an urgent need for coordination of the efforts of all stakeholder, namely, political, religious and traditional rulers.
The Archbishop appeal to all and beyond especially the catholic faithful to continue to remain calm and peaceful to allow the security agents to fish out the criminals involved in the dastardly act and deal with them according to the laws of the land.
He also reminded Christians that the pace, the parameters and the framework within which they are to live and practice their faith has been set by none other than the Lord and Master himself, Jesus Christ, who commanded us: “You have heard how it was said, you will love your neighbour and hate your enemy.
“No matter the situation, even when we have a dead body lying before us killed by deliberate murderers for reasons best known to them.
“To this end, I wish to remind one and all especially Christians that difficult situations do not make us any less human or less Christian. We must remain human and Christian even in the worst of times such as the one we are in.
“We do not fight evil with evil just as we do not fight fire with fire. Forgiveness and love is our greatest weapon because love conquers all. Let us leave vengeance to God because he says that it is his (cf. Deut 32: 35).
“It is true that the weight of the past which cannot be forgotten can be accepted when mutual forgiveness is offered and received though this is a long and difficult process but not impossible (cf. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 2005, p. 277).
“This said, it must however be borne in mind that “mutual forgiveness must not eliminate the need for justice and still less does it block the path that leads to the truth. On the contrary, justice and truth represent the concrete requisites for reconciliation” (ibid, 278). We are gathered here not only to pray for the late Agom Adara and those left to mourn him. We are also gathered to continue to pray for peace and the conversion of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.
“And as we all know peace is a free gift of God (cf. John 14: 27) and like any other gift it needs to be received by all who desire it and, I am sure there is no one today in Kaduna state in particular and the nation at large who does not desire peace. Be that as it may, it is left for us to create the enabling environment for the reception of this free and precious gift.
“Furthermore, we know that peace is a direct product of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation. We also know that forgiveness is a search for understanding and understanding does not mean condoning violent acts. Forgiveness is given to those who ask for it. It can never be forced nor can it be given by anyone but the one who has been offended to the offender who asks for it.
“At this juncture, I wish to commend and thank our priests for the role they played in calming frayed nerves in the wake of the high tensions that followed the killing of the Agom Adara and ask them to continue to do more mindful of the fact that the promotion of peace in the world is an integral part of the church’s mission of continuing Christ’s work of redemption on earth and the fact that the church is a Sacrament or sign and instrument of peace in the world and for the world” the Bishop stressed.
The Archbishop was of the opinion that as they do their bit as a church in furtherance of peaceful coexistence among the citizenry, the church expects a respectful reciprocity from the civil authorities mindful of the fact that it is the primary responsibility of civil leaders to promote the welfare of all and protect their interest.
He lamented that to do this effectively, the leaders they must listen to and respect public opinion and feeling otherwise, their peace-making effort will be fruitless as long as hostility, contempt and distrust continue to divide the people and put them in opposing camps.
Bishop Ndagoso continued to mentioned that if lasting peace is to be achieved, the first condition is to remove the causes of dissension among the different sectors of the society such as excessive economic inequalities, disregard for people’s right, systemic and deliberate policies exclusion, distrust which calls for a change of heart and deliberate efforts at the promotion of the common good.