Post-Election Anger Growing in Nigeria

Archbishop: Global Warming Overshadowing Plight of Poor

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KOENIGSTEIN, Germany, JUNE 7, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Nigerians are used to being ruled by rulers whom they have not elected, but democracy must be democracy, says Archbishop Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja.



Archbishop Onaiyekan, speaking to the organization Aid to the Church in Need, addressed the growing anger and impatience of the Nigerian people, especially after the April elections were marred by irregularities. These elections provoked massive protests.

"For decades the people of Nigeria had been victims of so-called rulers," the archbishop said, "but more and more people were unwilling to accept this."

Archbishop Onaiyekan insisted that the government must fulfill its responsibilities. The Church "cannot look after all the sick people in the country or run all the schools," he said. "The government has our money for these tasks, so it should fulfill them."

Global responsibility

Going beyond Nigeria's borders, Archbishop Onaiyekan lamented that the issue of global warming receives more attention in the media than the "overheating caused by poverty and injustice."

"The poor are tired of being patient. The anger is growing. People today are well informed about the living standards of other parts of the world," the archbishop observed. "From this anger emerges what is often called terrorism.

"I do not approve of this, but young people are no longer willing to passively accept injustice and at a certain point they come to believe that they have nothing left to lose."

Calling for a "revolution in our thinking," the archbishop of Abuja said, "all people should finally understand that humanity is one big family."

He continued, "It is not a matter here of Christians or Muslims. We have all had enough of the situation and must work together, hand in hand.

"We must not allow corrupt politicians to exploit religion for their own ends."