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Jun 14, 2019


A call has been made for a recollection of our spiritual life on earth, in preparation for return to the life after, when God calls. This appeal was made by Monsignor Cletus Tanimu Gotan in homily at the funeral Vigil Mass for the late emeritus Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Kevin Aje.

The ceremony took place at the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral Church, Sokoto, Sokoto Diocese. Present at the ceremony were: dignitaries from all walks of life, including a high powered delegation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN); led by its President, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze.

According to Msgr. Gotan, every death is a warning to those of us still alive to be prepared, wake up, alert and “above all be converted because our turn could be next; since life is not ours to control or be wasted and abused”.  He described life as a loving gift from God and meant to be lived in harmony with the purposes designed by God; warning that it should not be taken for granted.

Msgr. Gotan also used the occasion to condemn the existence of the structures of violence by unscrupulous persons, among who are terrorists masquerading as herdsmen and the Boko Haram, religion induced fanatics, whose activities in different paths of the country have almost led the country into another war.

Other challenges identified by the homilist included: un-redressed injustice, continued violation of truth and the manipulation of the people;  continued denial of the inalienable rights of free human beings; continued appropriation by a greedy  few of the abundant resources bestowed by God on the country; progressive impoverishment of the majority of Nigerians; greed and the timidity of the nation’s leaders to speak and fight for the poor, truth and justice; as well as champion the cause of the oppressed.

The homilist therefore called on all Nigerians  to “avail themselves of the little opportunities that come our way everyday – opportunities to be friendly, to be helpful, to be considerate, to be obliging .. so that we may be spared the ache of sadness which good people often experience late in life at the realization of having left undone what they ought to have done.”

Speaking on the life of the deceased, Msgr. Gotan noted that the late Bishop Aje had contributed a lot to the growth of the Catholic Church in the whole of the former Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province; and has impacted positively on the lives of many, spiritually, pastorally and on the society at large.

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