This came as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has urged Nigerians to pray for the country’s freedom from the bondage of corruption. According to a release by Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Gabriel Osu, “the Lenten season is a period of 40 days during which Christians are encouraged to intensify prayers, abstinence, fasting and alms giving. “In Catholic churches all over the world, the faithful are expected to receive ash on their foreheads as a sign of repentance and a reminder that we all came from ash and will someday return to ash. “Here in the Archdiocese of Lagos, the faithful would be led into the Lenten season by the Archbishop of Lagos, His Grace, Alfred Adewale Martins, at the Holy Cross Cathedral.” Catholic body writes INEC, wants 33 non-performing political parties deregistered On the essence of the season, Osu explains: “At this period of lent, we are all expected to draw nearer to God by constant prayer, forsake sin and being at peace with our fellow men. It is a season of renewal of our faith in our creator by renouncing all fleshy desires that tend to weigh us down and purifying our spirit for the greater glory of God. But it should not just end at this lent season. Our prayer is that the fruit of the season would continue to germinate and bear more fruit in our daily lives”. Catholic Bishops urge citizens to pray for Nigeria Meanwhile, in a special message by the President of CBCN, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, to mark the beginning of this year’s Lenten season, CBCN said: “We cannot move forward if we do not turn to God in prayer. The prosperity of Nigerians is being held captive by corruption. Let us pray and work for the liberation of Nigeria so that every Nigerian can realise their God-given potentials “We must as the Holy Father said, turn away from the culture of dominating the weak. We must turn away from the culture of individualism. “We must turn away from corruption and politics of bitterness. We must turn away from the rhetoric of hate speech, which creates mutual suspicion among ourselves.