Ordinary People’ll Determine Nigeria’s Unity, Not Political Leaders – Cardinal Onaiyekan

By Caleb Ayansina

Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, yesterday, said the no traditional, religious and political leader has the right to determine the unity of Nigeria, noting that only Nigerians can decide the future of the country.

The cleric, however, urged Nigerians to shun those beating the drums of disintegration and chaos, saying they always run abroad to hide when things go wrong.

Onaiyekan, who stated this at a Mass to mark the Centenary of the late Cardinal Ignatius Ekandem, the first Episcopal Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Metropolitan, said the presidency can only calm frayed nerves.


He said: “The point I have always made is that it is the ordinary Nigerians, who will decide whether we should live together or not.

“We on the ground should remember that when things get hot, there are certain people up there who always find a way out. They fly abroad and leave the poor people on the ground to suffer.

“People are angry and when they are angry, they have the right to say so. Therefore, I don’t think government can stop people from making pronouncements explaining what is annoying them, but in doing that, one should count the consequences of what one says. We have the freedom of speech but cannot say everything. So, let us live together in peace and be patient.’’