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Nigerians Should Take The Pope’s Message Seriously, Bishop Says
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Nigerians Should Take The Pope’s Message Seriously, Bishop Says 

Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, has encouraged Nigerians to take Pope Francis’ New Year’s message seriously.

News Agency of Nigeria

In his homily at the Mater Dei Cathedral Parish in Umuahia on Sunday, Ugorji provided the advise.

In a troubled society, he termed the Pope’s message calling for an end to violence against women as “pungent.”

Quoting the Pope’s message, he said: “And since mothers bestow life, and women keep the world (together), let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and protect women.

“To hurt a woman is to insult God, who from a woman took on our humanity – not through an angel, not directly, but through a woman.”

The 85-year-old Pope celebrated a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the solemnity of Holy Mary Mother of God as well as the annual World Day of Peace.

Ugorji also called on all levels of government in the country to create “inter-generational dialogue” between the country’s aging political leaders and the country’s future leaders.

He criticized the “recycling” of older leaders in political and government positions, arguing that millennials should be allowed greater room to operate and contribute to the country’s progress.

The cleric asked countries to increase their investments in education and work toward the UN-recommended yearly budgetary allocation of 20% to the education sector.

He regretted that the lack of contemporary teaching equipment in government-owned higher institutions was due to a lack of proper funding to the sector.

“This is also responsible for the incessant disagreements between the university lecturers and government, leading to strikes,” he said.

Ugorji also recommended governments to promote job possibilities for young people and enhance service conditions “for those who are fortunate enough to be employed.”

According to him, this will aid in the prevention of brain drain, particularly in the health sector, which is particularly hard impacted.

He also called on governments to create an environment that encourages private businesses to grow.

“There should be adequate security of lives and property, government should provide the infrastructure, including good roads, efficient rail system and regular energy,” the clergyman said.

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