Bishops of the Catholic Church in Nigeria have called for a suber reflection, prayer and fasting by Nigerians, so that the forthcoming General Elections might not only be successful but with the right people elected into offices, to put the country in the right direction for political and socio-economic greatness. The call was contained in a special statement issued recently by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).
The statement titled: Let us turn to God in prayer for our nation, and signed by Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze of Benin City, Edo State; and Bishop Camillus Umoh of Ikot Ekpene; President and Secretary of the Conferecne respectively; urges Nigerians to “think very carefully, because electing our leaders comes with moral obligations and responsibilities” They therefore appealed to Nigerians to put cynicism aside and go out to cast their votes on election day, guided by their conscience.
Noting that there is a lot of anxiety in the country, the Bishops declared: “We invite our fellow countrymen and women to turn to God in these trying times. We know that God has shown and continues to show His love and care for us. Let us continue in prayer for our brothers and sisters who are in politics, especially those of them who are seeking elective positions.” They added: “And to those our brothers and sisters either already in office or seeking to be elected, we say, be effective witnesses to TRUTH and LIGHT for the common good otherwise we invite you to bow out.”
The Bishops called on all Nigerians as stakeholders to play their respective roles effectively to ensure a very successful elections and continued peaceful co-existence of all in the country. Addressing government and all the agencies involved in the exercise they said: “We further appeal to the Security Agencies and INEC to rise up to their duties and responsibilities to ensure that we have peaceful, free, fair and credible elections. We nevertheless reiterate that the primary responsibility for this lies with the government.
They added: “We are encouraged by the recent declaration of the President in this regard. Our future depends on this and we urge the relevant bodies to put our nation before any other consideration.” The Bishops also called on all Catholics in the country to embark on a three-day of prayer and fasting to ensure the success of the elections and continued peace and harmony in the country.