The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has advised the electorate against voting for candidates with questionable characters in the forthcoming general elections.
The Bishops said candidates if elected, would not work for the common good of the people and the development of the country.
The Bishops gave the charge in a communiqué issued at the end of their 2023 plenary meeting held at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja,
The communique was co-signed by the CBCN President and Secretary, Archbishop Lucius Ugorji, and Bishop Donatus Ogun, respectively.
They noted that politicians with evil hearts do not have any good intentions for the well-being of the people and the development of Nigeria, urging the electorate to be wise in casting their votes for candidates that will move the country forward.
According to the participants, the upcoming elections provide Nigerians another opportunity in their national history to choose leaders capable of governing for the interest of all Nigerians irrespective of any differences.
The communique emphasized, “This is now the time to reject evil, greater or lesser, and wisely choose good and capable candidates at all levels. Our votes are precious; we must use them well.”
The meeting encouraged all eligible citizens to come out en masse to vote for God-fearing, honest, vibrant, and transparent leaders, assuring that it is the only way the country could be a better place for a better Nigeria and humanity.
The Bishops warned that the newly adopted technologies for accreditation, transmission, and collation are not manipulated to give false results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its officials and advised that all should be used judiciously for the interest of all Nigerians.
The meeting equally called on law enforcement agents, whose primary duty is to enforce law and order and ensure the protection of persons and materials during the elections, to efficiently and professionally carry out their responsibilities without fear, favour, or partiality.
The Catholic Bishops advised youths not to allow themselves be used as thugs and agents of disruption and violence before, during, and after the elections and enjoined voters to ensure that proper counting is done before the transmission of the results.
The Bishop condemned in strong terms the practice of vote-buying and selling, noting that it was aimed at frustrating and compromising the free choice of the people and giving the country leaders with questionable characters.
They urged politicians and the electorate to avoid unlawful and sinful practices and embrace the values of human dignity, integrity and decency to have free, fair, and credible elections for the progress of democracy and the development of Nigeria.
The Bishops also called on all judges and lawyers to see themselves as ministers in the temple of truth and justice, tasking them to work to make the judiciary the ‘last hope of the common man’ by ensuring the right thing was done.