Francis Cardinal Arinze Francis Cardinal Arinze
Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Roman Curia
Cardinal Priest of S Giovanni della Pigna
Nov 01, 1932
May 25, 1985
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English Nigeria needs public spirited leaders
Sept 07, 2007
“Every society needs leaders who distinguish themselves by their competence and spirit of service, and may God give Nigeria many of such leaders who will become catalysts for justice development, respect for the right of others, peace and joy”.

(Sunday Tribune, 02.09.2007) These were the words of Cardinal Arinze, during the Cardinal’s annual lectures held at the Basilica of the Holy Trinity in Onitsha. Arinze, who spoke on the topic ‘Leadership as Service; the Nigerian Situation’, stated that leadership positions in all strata of the society should be a tool for service and divine representation of the people, instead of avenues for self promotion.

He charged leaders to be careful to respect the liberties of their subjects, stating that a true leader is sensitive to the plight of his subjects, with a view to encouraging free and participatory leadership.

Arinze urged the followers, to always display a deep sense of responsive obedience, adding that leadership is a joint responsibility.

“Everyone has a share in striving to indentify and build up the best leaders with a sense of service. It is unhealthy and unhelpful for the people in a society to sit down and lament their fate in having poor and selfish leaders. They have to ask themselves what actions they have taken in enabling such leaders to emerge and to remain in office,”he sounded

The Cardinal, however disclosed that abuses of leadership positions can be reduced when the people demand clearer programmes from political parties, insist on free and fair elections and show deep and public resentment for currupt public officers and their ill-gotten whealth.

He maintained that this change can be achieved without resorting to ethnic war or violent clashes, but through bible based education on the benefits of service oriented leadership.
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