By Tordue Salem, Abuja
The minority group in the House of Representatives has urged Nigerians to use the forty-day period of Lent to pray for peace and unity in the nation.
Lawmakers, in a statement by minority leader Representative Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), on Wednesday, noted that “the 40 days of prayer, fasting and abstinence should lead to inner renewal, self-discipline and faithfulness, as it is contained in the teachings of Lent ”.
Elumelu charged Nigerians, especially leaders, not to be swayed by outside observations, but to allow for a more intimate spiritual rejuvenation and reinforced redirection for the Lenten period.
He stressed that “such spiritual direction is key to restoring hope and lifting our nation out of the forest from our current political, economic and social difficulties.
“As we begin another 40-day journey of prayer, fasting, and abstinence, God tells us to return to him. This return must take place in our hearts, not merely in our outer appearances.
“The ashes that we are receiving today are not for an outward show, but should minister humility and dependence on God, reminding us of our ephemeral life and that God is the only hope for humanity.
“As we observe Lent, we must adhere to the command of the Lord Jesus Christ to be careful not to display our spiritual exercises to attract the praises of others, but to use the period to advance in a life of humility, love, charity, forgiveness, penance , self-discipline and a deeper spiritual growth ”.
Elumelu urged leaders, “to take advantage of the period to have a deep introspection about their dealings with people and redouble their effort in service, especially knowing that one day, one will be before God giving an account of their stewardship.”
He also urged “those behind the rampant killings and other acts of violence in the country to retrace their steps, as their actions cannot be justified under any pretext.
The caucus prays for our nation’s peace, unity and stability and urges Nigerians to continue to be each other’s guardians, especially at this critical time. “