Nigerians have been urged not to sit on the fence, but to be actively involved in the political process, even as the country is passing through problems of years of misrule, to take the coming elections seriously, as well eschew tribalism, religious affiliations among other sentiments and vote in credible leaders that will change its current narrative and move the nation forward. The charge was given by the duo of Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos and Most Rev. (Dr.) Matthew Hassan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Saturday June 18, during the flag off ceremony of the 70th anniversary/ logo and mascot launch of the Order of the Knights of Saint Mulumba, KSM Nigeria, held at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja, Lagos.
Archbishop Martins who lamented on the sufferings that Nigerians are passing through in the hands of politicians who he said do not care about the masses but themselves, charged Nigerians to get their PVCs and ensure they are not manipulated by the said politicians in the 2023 elections, but to vote in the right candidates that will ensure that the sufferings being witnessed by citizens are brought to an end. Bishop Kukah, Guest Lecturer on the occasion while lamenting the persecution of Christians in the country, urged them not to retire to timidity, but to move towards the ‘barking dog’ as he described the persecutors, and see persecution as the oxygen of the church.
He said: “We must appreciate that all of us can make a difference. If you check church history, Christians are always the first in the line of attack. Persecution has been the oxygen of the church, look at the crucifix. Walk towards the barking dog because if you walk away, it attacks you. Retreat is not an option for us. What are we going to tell our children if we retreat?” Bishop Kukah urged members of KSM and other well meaning Nigerians to ensure they redefine the future, and stop being spectators in the political space. Worthy Supreme Knight, KSM, Nigeria and Chief Host, Sir Charles Mbelede who had earlier addressed a press conference on activities lined up for the 70th anniversary, disclosed that the order will clock 70 years on June 14, 2023 having been inaugurated on June 14, 1953 in Owerri by Bishop William, under the auspices of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. He further disclosed that from a most modest beginning with 23 members and propelled by the founding father, Late Abbot Abraham Isidahome Ojefua, the order has evolved over the last 69 years into an enviable Christian brand, built around distinguished Catholic men and their spouses, 24,000 knights and ladies, standing prominent personalities in virtually all facets of human endeavours, who have solely pledged to offer their three Ts; time, treasures and talents to the service of God, the Church and humanity.
He said: “Especially we provide for provide the poor/needy and serve as buffer for the most vulnerable, voiceless and defenseless citizens. “The order has during the period under review left towering legacies, tangible indices of development in various locations in the country. The theme of our jubilee celebration “Seventy years of KSM in Nigeria: The present, the past’ redefining the present and reshaping the future” is not only apt, it’s expected to enable the order evaluate its journey thus far with a view to restrategising for even more achievements and accolades moving forward. He disclosed that the main business of the day is to unveil the jubilee anniversary logo and mascot, which will serve as identification symbol for the yearlong celebration and adjudge as the winning entries in the keenly contested exercise conducted by the local organizing seventy years of KSM in Nigeria.
“It is our expectation that both the logo and mascot will provide the desired goodwill, good luck, nobility to the order during the short period of span of one year. he said It is pertinent to remind the guests and invitees that the LOC intends to leverage the official unveiling anniversary logo and mascot to raise part of the funds required to execute some of the activities marked for the celebration which includes KSM Platinum Documentation, among others. Thanking God for the activities of KSM, Nigeria, as he looked for happy celebrations the Supreme Knight assured that the order will continue do more to impact the society positively. Noble President, Ladies of St. Mulumba, LSM and Chief Hostess, Lady Meg Anozia assured that the Ladies of Saint Mulumba will continue to do its quota towards putting in their time, treasure and talents in promoting the works of the order and service to the poor and in the society.