Ahead of Saturday’s and March 11 elections, Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the judiciary and security agencies not to bow to pressures from those out to manipulate outcome of the elections.
Kaigama in a homily, yesterday, at St Augustine’s Parish, Dutse-Sangbagyi, Abuja, urged Nigerians to ensure they come out and vote in credible and competent leaders who would run affairs of the country selflessly. He said: “Nigerians must play their roles in creating a better Nigeria by participating in the elections in six days’ time.
This time we want an election of credible and competent candidate and not an election marred by manipulation or violence that scares away voters.
“Our earnest prayer is that the INEC, the security agents and the judiciary will not bow to pressure from any quarters and compromise their work so that only true winners in the elections who – as Philippians 4:8 says, are honourable, just, pure, lovely – can emerge and free Nigerians from the bondage of economic hardship, criminality and needless division based on tribe and religion.”
On the cash crunch leading to chaos in some parts of the country the cleric, who appealed to citizens to be civil and act responsibly, described some of the reactions by Nigerians as immature. “The recent bank policy has plunged many Nigerians into untold hardship, because of very limited access to physical cash. However, when we are not comfortable with certain decisions, we should react in an enlightened manner.
“The unruly acts of rioting in some parts of the nation that attacked bank ATMs, beat up some bank staff, vandalised banks and destroyed bank properties, blocked streets, forcing businesses to close, etc, are not signs of maturity.” Further commenting on the recent communique from the just concluded first plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, he said the Catholic Church has called on government leaders to love the people they lead through good governance.
“The bishops decried the worsening insecurity caused by so-called unknown gunmen, and so urged the government to do more to safeguard the lives and property of citizens; to improve the economy of the nation as the high cost of goods and services continues to skyrocket,” Kaigama noted.