Easter: Catholic Bishop of Lagos questions timing of Buhari’s visit

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Adewale Martins, has described the two-day working visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos as ill-timed, PREMIUM TIMES report.

In a statement by the Bishop’s director of social communication on Thursday, Mr. Martins questioned the motive behind the president’s resolve to schedule the visit at the same time with “the most important events of the year for Christians.”

According to the statement, the resultant effect of the visit, which includes the closure of roads across Lagos as well as the ban of Okada riders has resulted in untold hardship for the large population of people in Lagos.

The restrictions imposed as a result of Mr. Buhari’s visit affected commuters and travellers on Thursday, forcing many to walk long distances.

Many flights were cancelled as passengers could not get to the Murtala Muhammed airport on time.

As Easter preparations draw to a close, Christians and especially Catholics are expected to embark on processions during the symbolic stations of the the cross, where Christians believe Jesus Christ was killed on the cross of calvary.

Christians are also expected to visit the church several times for the Good Friday activities.

The statement noted the right of the president to visit any part of the country in the discharge of his duty, but warned that “such visits should be sensitive to the situation of people especially when it involves the fulfilment of the religious obligations which their faith requires of them.”

“The timing does not take into consideration Christians in government and security services who would be required to be at work to ensure a smooth, secure and safe visit of the President. It is really unfortunate that the timing of the visit would create such hardships for people and deprive some of their right to worship and take part in the most important feast of their faith,” it said.

The statement expressed hope that future preparations of this sort would be made with due consideration of the religious activities of all Nigerians, and that security agencies will not make Good Friday activities tedious for Christians.

“We hope that those who plan such visits that are likely to disrupt the normal flow of the life of people would be sensitive enough especially when they affect the right of people to practice their faith and worship as they choose,” the statement said.
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