…say INEC should investigate the alleged manipulation of the registry
… release pastoral letter on 2023 polls
Nigerian politicians and their operatives should be civil and respectful in their statements as they seek votes for the upcoming general elections, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria warned on Tuesday.
The organization regrets that instead of marketing their candidates and manifestos through issue-based campaigns and language discipline, some political parties have resorted to using intemperate language, threats, character assassinations and disinformation.
CBCN expressed these views at a media event organized by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.
The Secretary General of CSN, Very Rev. Fr. Zacharia Samjumi charged political parties to make them understand that elections are not matters of life or death.
“Also, we have seen that instead of marketing a party’s agenda and a candidate’s manifesto through values-based campaigns and language discipline, the campaigns of some political parties tend to use excessive language, make threats, assassinate characters and propagate. disinformation and outright falsehood about opponents.
“We call on all Nigerians, especially politicians and their operatives, to be civil, decent and respectful in their speeches as they seek votes and debate the future of the country.
“Political parties and candidates should understand that elections are not matters of life or death and they should remember that no one is good enough to lead another without their consent.
“The candidates should stick to the peace agreement they signed and call on their supporters to avoid violence and machoism. Only a peaceful election can guarantee the peaceful Nigeria we want to live in.”
Samjumi told Nigerians that elections are very opportune times to be used properly.
He said a better life awaits Nigerians if they do the right thing in this election.
“To this end, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria have released a Pastoral Letter on the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, focusing on the decorum and discipline needed to conduct these elections in a free, fair and credible manner.
“In their document, the bishops remind all men and women of goodwill in Nigeria that democracy cannot thrive in any society where the rule of law is frequently violated.
“Therefore, we call on all Nigerians, irrespective of creed or tribe, who are of voting age and who have registered, to participate fully in the electoral process, which includes registering, obtaining permanent voter cards, voting and patronage. to guarantee. they count”, he stated.
He said it is only with the power of the vote that Nigerians can create the real progress they need in the country.
The church, therefore, called on Nigerians to desist from selling their votes, but should vote according to their conscience and good judgement, ensuring that only candidates who will improve their lives are voted for.
The cleric said, “Youths should reject being used as thieves, murderers and electoral violators. We call on the Independent Electoral Commission to remove the barriers of high transaction costs associated with collecting PVCs across the country.
“In order to ensure the participation of all voters, INEC has a heavy burden to ensure that the BVAS will work on election day in all 176,846 polling stations across the country, as well as effective electronic transmission of election results. This will create transparency and ensure confidence in the electoral process.
“We are aware of credible allegations of electoral roll tampering in various parts of Nigeria. We urge INEC to investigate these allegations carefully and to the extent they are well founded, to hold anyone involved to account in due course.
“Furthermore, it has been observed that several registrations took place with the intentional and incorrect entry of voter information; We ask the committee to ensure that due diligence is carried out in the detailed documentation and to clear the voters’ roll.
On the state of the nation, the cleric said that despite the various interventions and advice given by the Bishops to those in power, both as a body and as individuals, Nigeria continues to sink deeper into the abyss.
He said that every day the country continues to witness the widespread killing of innocent citizens in their homes, churches, mosques, streets, trains, roads and events.
“There are kidnappings, invasions of towns and villages, looting and senseless corruption, ransom, rape and territorial conquest unfortunately.
“We are saddened that Nigerians in their homeland are now at the mercy of non-state actors who are not only terrorizing but killing citizens from East to West, South and Northern regions.
“Unfortunately, the people have yet to find hope in the ability or willingness of the current administration to address the many problems that have afflicted our beloved nation,” he said.