The Primate of the Church of the Lord Worldwide and President of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Africa, His Holiness, the Most Reverend Dr Rufus Okikiola Ositelu has delivered his usual new year message.
In his message, Primate Ositelu urged all and sundry to show Love in all endeavors.
He further stated that in the prediction for Nigeria in 2023, God has promised to do a new thing in Nigeria and make Nigeria flourish again, he thus urged Nigerians to see the new year as a year of sober reflection, advising Nigerians to avoid the pitfalls of past years.
The full text of his message:
I hereby wish to congratulate you all for the grace bestowed upon you by Almighty God to see the New Year 2023.
I therefore urge you to count your blessings and glorify the name of the Lord. “Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:1-2 NKJV).
On the predictions for Nigeria in 2023, the Lord says, “I Will do a new thing in Nigeria and I will make Nigeria to flourish again. There will be breakthrough politically, socially and economically.” Praise be to God (Hallelujah)!
I wish to state that this season is a time for demonstrating love for one another especially the less privileged. “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:31 NKJV). It is equally a time for sober reflections both as individuals and collectively as a nation in order to avoid the pitfalls of the past and chart a new course for attaining great and lofty heights.
As we all are aware 2023 is an election year, it is therefore important for Federal and State governments and especially Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free, fair and credible elections. All forms of electoral malpractices should be avoided.
At this juncture let me stress that politicians and stakeholders should let patriotism and selfless service be their watchwords throughout the electioneering campaigns, during and after the forthcoming elections.
Similarly women should be enabled and encouraged to vote and be voted for. Exhibit the fear of God in all that you do. Avoid violence and heating up the polity as no election is worth any Nigerian’s life. The Youth should resist being used by politicians as agents for perpetrating violence.
I hereby urge the electorates to vote according to their conscience which should be devoid of tribal or religious sentiments. Vote for credible, committed, visionary and God fearing candidates.
I pray that God in His infinite mercy will give Nigeria good leaders in the mighty name of Jesus. May I at this point also reiterate the need for the incoming government to put due priority on the need to address the socio-economic and political challenges facing the nation. These include peace and security, corruption, economy and infrastructure, affordable housing and healthcare facilities, the Youth and unemployment, Women empowerment and elimination of violence against women and children, geographical, political and economical restructuring.
While it is true that some level of progress has been achieved so far, a lot still remains to be done so that the masses can enjoy the dividends of democracy.
I pray that God will give the leaders the political will wisdom and courage to proffer the right solotions.
Permit me to use this medium to also call on all and sundry to shun corruption, violence, bigotry, religious intolerance, tribalism and nepotism in the new year. Righteousness exalts a nation. But sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34 NKJV).
Jesus Christ is the reason for the season, let us emulate and imbibe Christ’s virtues by living in peace, love and harmony with one another. Exhibit the fear of God by obeying His commandments.
In conclusion I enjoin my colleague prelates to continue to intercede for the nation so that we can have peaceful and successful elections that will usher in good leaders for the country. I wish you all a happy glorious and prosperous year 2023. Happy New year!
The Most. Rev. Dr. Rufus Okikiola Ositelu. Aladura Patriarch & the Primate of The Church of the Lord (TCL) Worldwide & President of World Council of Churches (WCC) for Africa.
January, 1st 2023.