By George Odok
Head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has urged politicians across the world to see politics as service to society and an opportunity to impact on human communities and institutions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Pope’s message tagged ‘The Celebration of The 52nd World Day of Peace’, was read by Most Rev. Joseph Ekuwem, the Catholic Archbishop of Calabar.
The Pope said that when politics was not seen as a form of service, it could become a means of oppression, marginalisation and even destruction.
The Catholic pontiff advised politicians to take politics seriously with a view to affirm the duty of each individual to acknowledge the reality and value of the freedom offered to serve.
He also called on politicians to make effort in protecting their citizens by creating the conditions for a worthy and just future.
“Every election and re-election, and every stage of public life, is an opportunity to return to the original points of reference that inspire justice and law. Once this is certain, good politics is at the service of peace.
“It respects and promotes fundamental human rights which are at the same time mutual obligations, enabling a bond of trust and gratitude to be forged between present and future generations.
“Today, more than ever, our societies need artisans of peace who can be messengers and authentic witnesses of God the father,” the Pope said.
Commenting on incidents of wars and conflicts in different parts of the world, the Pope advised Christians to reflect on the First World War by remembering the young people killed in the battles and the civilian population that was displaced.
The Catholic Pontiff said that peace should never be reduced to a balance between power and fear, adding that to threaten others was to lower them to the status of objects and deny their dignity.
“This is why we state once more that an escalation of intimidation and uncontrolled proliferation of arms is contrary to morality and the search for peace.
“Terror exerted over those who are vulnerable contributes to the exile of the entire population who seek a place of peace.
“Political addresses that tend to blame every evil on migrants and deprive the poor of hope are unacceptable,” the Pope said.
On corruption, he advised against the misappropriation of public resources, the exploitation of individuals, the denial of rights, the flouting of community rules, dishonest gain and the justification of power by force.
He urged nations of the world to be at peace with others in other to promote unity and peaceful co-existence.