• Friday, September 29, 2023
businessday logo


Martins calls for tolerance, condemns ethnic profiling in Lagos

Seek divine guidance for peace in 2023, Archbishop Martins urges Nigerians

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins has condemned in very strong terms all forms of ethnic profiling, utterances, and violence witnessed in some parts of Lagos State, before, during and after the recent elections, cautioning that the trend if not urgently check-mated, could truncate the peaceful co-existence of residents of the state.

“The ethnic and discriminatory comments making the rounds particularly on social media, are not a reflection of the true nature of Lagosians, who are known to be very peace-loving, accommodating and cosmopolitan, including by promoting inter-tribal marriages for many decades,” Martins stated in a statement signed by Anthony Godonu, the director of social communications.

Martins described as unfortunate and unacceptable the tension, hate speech and violence, especially before, during and after the recent gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in some parts of the state.

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos also urged the residents of Lagos to remain calm and not allow themselves to be divided against their neighbours. He therefore urged the state government as a matter of urgency to call all parties to order and put in place machinery for the quick restoration of peace and normalcy.

Read also: Peter Obi says attacks on voters heartbreaking

“I call on everyone to put a stop to the spread of hate speech and fake news and to shun all forms of rancor. The divisive comments and behaviours, particularly along ethnic or tribal lines, is not conducive to good neighborliness and peaceful coexistence.

“The people of Lagos must not allow the political class to whip up such divisive sentiments to disrupt their lives and livelihood. We are all equal before God and the only man-made distinction among people is between the poor and the rich, the privileged and the underprivileged,” Martins stated.

With the elections over, the clergyman hoped that all those who have been fanning the embers of ethnic division will be more circumspect and desist from further heating up the polity. “We are all Nigerians and have lived and interacted together as one people for decades in Lagos and other parts of our country. We must be law-abiding citizens and not take the law into our hands in any guise”.

While commiserating with families that lost their loved ones and persons whose properties were destroyed in the violence in the state and across the country, Martins also called on law enforcement agencies to do the needful where offences have been committed, as part of efforts to facilitate a national healing process.