February 28, 2024
Refrain from vote buying, Catholic bishops warns

Refrain from vote buying, Catholic bishops warns

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has urged candidates and voters to forgo buying and selling votes in the general elections of 2023..

The call was made in a communiqué that the organization released following its Second Plenary meeting at Orlu, close to Owerri.

Both the Secretary/Bishop of Uromi, Most Rev. Donatus Ogun, and the President of the CBCN and Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, signed the statement.

They demanded that all citizens, but especially young people, receive political education so that they could participate in politics effectively.

“We encourage all of our institutions and individuals to promote ethical political behavior and well-informed decisions.
Our people should be made aware of the need to be both good leaders and good followers in accordance with the tenets of the Social Teaching of the Church.

“The people may only escape the enslavement of political manipulation and ignorance in their electoral habits when they are enlightened to take cognizance of their duty to the nation and their rights in it,” they stated.
They applauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly for passing and enacting the Electoral Bill 2022.

READ ALSO: Catholic Bishops: Govt has failed on security, economy, others

“We recognize the President’s dedication to making sure that all candidates in the elections have a level playing field.
Additionally, we applaud the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its technological advancements that have helped to ensure free, credible, and fair elections.

“To boost public confidence in the election process, the organization urged the commission to ensure that this technology is used in a transparent manner.

We therefore reiterate our appeal to all of our followers, including laity and clergy, to cast their votes in large numbers for candidates with unquestionable integrity.

They urged Nigerians to cast their votes for candidates with good moral character, the ability, and the track record to guide the country out of its current socio-political and economic rut, regardless of party, religion, or ethnicity.

They pointed out that the country’s current position may be improved by making the appropriate political decisions.

They expressed worry about the country’s ongoing and worsening insecurity, the weak economy, and the ongoing ASUU strike.

The bishops said that the government had failed to uphold its security obligations.

“We see that even when suspects have been apprehended, there is not even diligent prosecution of the perpetrators of these malicious crimes, leaving the populace powerless and dejected,” the report reads.

“Despite our enormous human and natural resources, there is poverty and hunger in our land due to mismanagement and a failing economy with an ever-increasing debt burden,” they alleged.

To lower the level of insecurity in the nation, they demanded that the government and the private sector implement proper policies and create an environment that will allow for the development of more jobs.

 

“In order for public colleges to reopen, we once again urge the Federal Government and ASUU to find a speedier and better method to resolve the issues at hand.

The group also praised Pope Francis for ordaining His Eminence, Cardinal Peter Okpaleke, Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, as a new Cardinal.

For Nigeria to make the correct decisions, they urged its citizens to turn to God in prayer and fasting.

“We urge our people to keep up their fasts and prayers in order to get ready for a peaceful and orderly election.

“We implore politicians to abstain from politics of resentment, division, and religious prejudice when running for office and canvassing the electorate.
“If we are successful in completing these tasks, our nation will enter a new era, they observed.

(NAN)

Refrain from vote buying, Catholic bishops warns

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