The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most. Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, on Friday appealed to the Federal Government (FG) led by President Ahmed Tinubu, and the states governments to allow Nigerians to breathe in the incoming year 2024.
Adewale-Martins, sympathetic to the subsisting hardship faced by Nigerians since the inception of the present administration in May 2023 due to the removal of the petrol subsidy by FG, said that, the FG and states levels of government should foster people oriented policies to give the people some respite.
The people’s Archbishop, made the appeal in his 2024 New Year message in Lagos to let the state know the feelings of the people.
According to reports, the message signed by the Church’s Director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godono, was the church’s tradition, of ushering in the new year.
The Archbishop admonished the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led FG and all political leaders across the country to give Nigerians good reasons to smile in this New Year 2024.
The Archbishop observed with dismay, that 2023, an election year, xwith all its controversies, was characterised by untold hardship for millions of Nigerians due to the high cost of essential commodities.
The Gospel preacher, enjoined government to make concerted effort to use all resources available, even across party lines in order to fashion out policies that would help alleviate the untold hardship that majority of Nigerians were going through.
“The increase in the pump price of petroleum products and the drastic loss in the value of the naira, among other factors, have grossly affected the purchasing power of Nigerians.
“They are finding it difficult to keep their heads above water. This along with the insecurity in the country has led many of the best brains in the country to being sucked out of the country as they yield to the Japa syndrome.
” Those of us who remain are struggling to breathe, as they say. This is unacceptable. As we enter into the year 2024, we call on government, at all levels, to lock its focus on economic policies that will help to rejig the economy and bring solace to the impoverished masses.
” Government must listen to the cries of poor Nigerians.
“Oftentimes political expediency and patronage militate against even good policies. So, we expect that if President Tinubu wishes to write his name in gold, he must begin from now to use all resources available, human, and material, and not allow politics and political expediency to stand in the way of common good and the welfare of the.
” Nigerians ask for is working out policies that will bring down the high cost of foodstuff, reduce transportation costs, and provide gainful employment for the jobless, especially the youths,” he said.
The Archbishop challenged President Tinubu, the States Governors, and members of the National and State Houses of Assembly to take the lead in making the sacrifices they expect of the people by reducing the cost of governance and the many travels that do not bring much good to the day to day life of the people.
He pointed that the number of vehicles being purchased for government officials by the National Assembly and Executive arms of government were insensitive to the plight of the people.
He pointed that another was the sheer number of people that attended international meetings and turn them into jamborees.On another.
The cleric urged Nigerians to cooperate with the leaders to ensure peace and economic stability in the New Year, once again appealed to government to urgently address lingering wage-related issues that concern Nigerian workers.
He said that, the Resident Doctors, and University lecturers, amongst several others should be accorded their entitlements.
He congratulated all Nigerians for witnessing another new year and asked people to be hopeful and to keep their minds positive about the year 2024 while praying that it would be a prosperous and fruitful year for all Nigerians