Francis Cardinal Arinze, has urged political leaders to always take decision and make choices meant to promote the common good of all in the country.
Arinze, former Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Catholic Church, made the call while delivering his 2015 Annual Lecture in Onitsha, Anambra on Tuesday.
The theme of this year’s lecture was “The Christian and Politics’’.
The cleric said that (political) authority was supposed to be understood as meant for service, and not as domination.
“The political leader should be flexible, should not regard himself or herself as indispensable, and should be willing to gracefully accept a defeat at a political election instead of regarding politics as a matter of do or die.
“The obvious fact should be accepted that everyone cannot have the same opinion on every social or political question.
“It is the mark of a statesman or woman to listen carefully to differing views, to seek to work with those who hold such views and to be aware that an elected officer is a servant, not only for those who voted for him or her, but also for those who did not,’’ he said.
The cardinal noted that only a transparently honest leader could easily demand performance and honestly from workers under his care.
“Justice should not only be done, but should be seen to be done in the distribution of amenities, in the promotion of persons in public service and in the administration of public funds.
“A political leader should be up and doing in the defence of human rights and in positive action in favour of the weaker members of society,’’ he said.
The cleric, however, urged the governed to co-operate with forward looking and honest political leadership in the interest of being co-partners to achieve the common good for the benefit of all.
“Citizens have rights but also duties. It is the duty of the lay faithful (people) to seek to promote peace, harmony and solidarity in the society,’’ he advised.

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