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Onaiyekan urges FG to review constitution


The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan has urged the Federal Government to review the constitution and also change the structure of governance in the country.

Onaiyekan made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the inauguration of a maiden gospel music album entitled “In His Presence’’ in Abuja on Sunday.

The album was composed by Rev. Fr Oluoma John, a Parish Priest of Christ the King Church, Kubwa.

According to him, there is ongoing debate now whether Nigeria state is negotiable, whether we can think of re-arranging this country in a different ways.

“I certainly believe we should because we must agree that the country now is not perfect.

“ Our constitution is not perfect, our constitution is not a Bible then we should be prepared to face it and those that are not satisfied with it should be allowed to say so.’’

The Cardinal, however, said that one thing that was common across the country was the clamour  for restructuring.

“When it comes to actually determining what you mean by restructuring, there are one thousand and one approaches so very often people do not agree on what they mean by restructuring.

“My own understanding of restructuring is that first, they are so many things in the country that are not going on well, that structural imbalance and restructuring is properly to address those issues.

“ It is the reason why the constitution is one of the elements in restructuring, they are so many things we are used to but we find out that they are not helping us.

“I hope we will have the courage and honesty to face those things,’’ he said.

Onaiyekan observed that some “people are happy with the way things are, while others not’’, saying “ there must be room for everybody to express their minds’’.

“There must be room for everybody to express their mind, especially those who are dissatisfied, let them express why they are dissatisfied and also make a proposal as regard how they can do things better.

“In my own opinion, the effort to scatter us is more than the effort to put us together,’’ he said.

Speaking on the gospel album inauguration, the Cardinal said the Archdiocese had produced some artists including priests.

“This is not the first time a priest of the diocese will be inugurating an album. Whatever we do in the church, it must be done according to proper order.

“Important aspect of music and dancing is part of religion to be able to deliver the message of Christianity through music and art is very much part and parcel of the tradition of our church.

“It is only that music changes from generation to generation, from place to place.

“Properly, the kind of music John was producing now, I never thought of that when I was a young priest but whatever that is good can be used for God.’’

Onaiyekan, however, described the host artist (Fr John) as a talented young man who has excelled in his priestly ministry.

He said his primary assignment was not to make music but to be pastor of souls.

“He has been doing that very well whenever he has been posted, he performed very well and God has blessed his effort,’’ the Cardinal said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fr John, also a writer is a Parish Priest of the Christ the King Church, Kubwa.

NAN also reports that the event also witnessed a Fund Raising, aimed at building a State of Art Record Studio.

The proceeds from the album inauguration would be used for the building of a state of the art digi-analogue studio estimated to cost N130 million for the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja.

The studio will provide a platform for talented youths, upcoming artists and multimedia professionals to showcase and maximise their God endowed potential for the benefit of the larger society.