Calabar — Bishop Archibong Archibong, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Cross River chapter, on Sunday expressed optimism that Nigeria would be more prosperous in 2013 and beyond.
He also criticised the nudity in the just concluded Calabar Carnival, saying that it was not the culture of Africa.
Archibong made the comments while addressing newsmen in Calabar, saying that nudity in carnival was not the best for the state.
He said his new year message to Nigerians was that Christians should have hope in the coming year. "No matter what happens, no matter the tribulations of 2012, the word of God says that the path of the righteous is like the shining light.
"It shines more and more into a perfect day, we must have hope in God and believe that next year, things will be better," he said. He urged Christians to put their trust in God and love one another, irrespective of the challenges faced in the country.
"We are hoping that things will be better because of God, we should put our trust in him, believe in him and then begin to love one another and share the message of love," he said.
According to him, Christianity is all about love and "I believe that every religion is about love; once there is love, things will certainly change".
The CAN chairman said that challenges were part of life " and where there is no challenge, there is no promotion, problems are examination for promotion".
"Each time we pass through severe moment and tribulations, is only encouraging us that something better is on our way. So I give hope and believe that next year will be better," Archibong said.
He, however, said there was no nudity in Calabar Carnival when the former Governor, Mr Donald Duke, started it.
"We need to be very careful because the way we are going now in this carnival thing, we are completely forgetting about morals.
"The way people dance is now sexual, it shows that there is no shame among our women, there is no modesty.
"The people came in and borrowing us the culture that is not our culture and women staying almost naked only with pants and brassiers. "I don't think it is good for this state or any part of the nation; it is not our culture and I believe strongly that we should not encourage it.
"We should go back to decency and modesty is most important thing." Archibong called on organisers of the carnival to fine tune the ways participants should dance and dress during the event.
He said that moral implication of nudity was bad in a Christian life, adding that the culture of a black man did not accept it.
"In our culture, women should be respected, all their bodies should be covered and is not something that is nice, I felt bad when I saw it.
"Apart from Christianity, in our culture, it is unacceptable. It is bad and it is wrong and when something is bad we need to condemn it.
"The way we are going, we are indirectly getting too lose and what about the younger generation that is coming. "We are bringing this younger ones from primary and secondary schools in to this carnival.
"What lessons are we leaving behind, I don't think any right thinking person will accept that in our culture," Archibong said.
On the security challenges faced by the nation, he called on Nigerians to keep trusting and praying to God. "Let's start praying and then this excessive exposure of our material wealth is the cause. (NAN)