A justice of the Supreme Court, Chime Nweze, has asked members of the Old Seminarians Association of Nigeria (OSAN) to mobilise Nigerians towards building a better country.
Mr Nweze, who was the keynote speaker at the inaugural ceremony of OSAN on Saturday in Abuja, said corruption, baseless party politics and worsening security are frustrating national integration.
He noted that “citizens need to think beyond their differences to propel the nation into maximising its potentials towards the actualization of greatness.”
Mr Nweze argued that the clergy could not afford to be aloof and indifferent to the corrupt leadership which he said had inflicted so much pain on the people.
He called for envagelism of human structures, which according to him, is a “new approach to confront the injustices ravaging the economic, social and political lives of the people.”
The Clerk of the House of Representatives, Chinedu Akubueze, who was the chairman of the inaugural ceremony, said the members who are called to public life must lead by example.
“Today is like our coming out to identify ourselves as old Seminarians. Some of us attended different seminaries across the country but did not succeed in making it to priesthood. Before it used to be seen as a failure. We are coming out today to correct the impression.
“The essence of a seminary is to bring up good Catholic boys. The seminary develops various character traits, that should be part of our daily living. We expect our members who have the calling of going into politics to set an example. We will encourage them to play politics bearing in mind their Catholic seminary heritage,” Mr Akadueze said.
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, said Nigerians must begin to question the wealth of politicians and mobilise the people toward weeding them out.
He also raised alarm on the impact of cybercrime on youth, noting that several young people were becoming ex-convicts.
“The challenge my Lord this is posing to us is that we must now begin to question the wealth of those politicians. And there is a new dangerous trend that my Lord touched, and that is the emergence of yahoo boys.
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“EFCC addressed a press conference yesterday, and identified Lekki in Lagos, that is where the nouveau rich stay— as the hotspot of Yahoo Yahoo in Nigeria. If we are not careful, we are producing a generation of ex-convicts in Nigeria. Many of our young people are being convicted.
“All old seminarians, we must mobilize our people to reject all politicians of doubtful integrity, politicians of questionable pedigree, so that we will not have a cause to regret our choices. In Latin America, they call it liberation theology, that is what they are asking our priests to do here, to ensure that we remain the conscience of Nigerians.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, a former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, and other old seminarians.
The website of the association was also launched at the ceremony.