The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has restated the need for the church to actively participate in politics to enable them effectively contribute their quota to national development.
Obaseki gave the charge while addressing delegates at the fifth National Eucharistic Congress held at St. Paul Minor Seminary, Benin City, Edo State.
The congress was organised by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) with the theme, “Becoming the eucharist we celebrate: A call to live as one and serve the weak.”
Catholic delegates and faithful from Onitsha, Lagos, Owerri, Abuja, Ibadan, Jos, Kaduna and the host Benin Province were all present at the congress, taking place between Friday, November 11 and Sunday, November 13, 2022.
Obaseki said, “The church has continued to intervene when the government fails. The church goes into communities, acquires land, provide education, healthcare and spiritual healing for citizens.
“We need help in government and call on the Catholic Church to go beyond homily and help us on how to govern our country.”
The governor noted that Nigeria is going through a difficult time and need prayers and collaboration of the church to overcome the challenges facing her.
He continued: “In our nation today, we need God as we all need prayers and to call on God to intervene as we are going through challenges and difficulties that we have not experienced in a long time.
“God wants us to take away lessons from these challenges that we are facing as a nation, which is why he has allowed us to pass through the problems.
“I have had the privilege of occupying many positions in this country, from business, government and politics. What is clear is that we can resolve the problems we have because God has given us all we need as a nation to solve them. I believe that the Catholic Church has a huge responsibility. In the world today, the Catholic Church is one of the most organised institutions.”
He further noted, “We will rely on you because we all lament, complain and talk about our problems rather than train ourselves to take practical steps daily to resolve the challenges we face.
“God has a purpose for this congress to hold at this time in Benin City when we are celebrating our six years anniversary in office. It might be a time for renewal and get closer to God.”
Hailing the catholic bishops in the state for their support for his administration, Obaseki added, “Beyond the prayers, as you always pray for us, you have taken further steps to ensure that we succeed as a government.”