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Reject evil, vote God-fearing leaders – Catholic Bishops tell Nigerians

THE Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), has counselled Nigerians to vote wisely in next Saturday’s presidential election and elect transparent leaders with capacity to transform the country’s economy as well as ensure good governance.

Specifically, the Bishops said the 2023 general election provides Nigerians with yet another opportunity in her national history to reject evil leaders and choose those that will govern with the fear of God.

“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, encouraging all eligible citizens to come out en masse to vote God-fearing, honest, vibrant and transparent leaders for a better Nigeria,” they stated.

In a Communique issued at the end of their first plenary meeting held at the CSN Resource Centre, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Durumi, in Abuja, and signed by the President, CBCN, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, Archbishop of Owerri and Secretary, Most Rev. Donatus Ogun, OSA, and released by Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye, the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese to newsmen, they “urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and its officials to ensure that their conduct during the entire electoral process are transparent, honest and beyond reproach.”

According to the communique titled: “Citizens Participation in Good Governance In Nigeria”, they contended that, “We continue to enjoin the commission to make sure that the newly adopted technologies for accreditation, transmission and collation of election results are transparently and sincerely deployed and not manipulated to give false results.”

The communiqué stated that, the media have a crucial role to play in entrenching good and democratic governance, by providing the necessary information that empowers the citizens, not only to engage the political class in debates on the issues that affect their lives, but also, to exercise their democratic choices and informed decisions about public issues.”

On the challenging economy and its effects on the citizens, the Bishops urged the federal government and its relevant agencies to immediately increase the circulation of new naira notes and put in place adequate and effective monetary cum relevant policies that would reduce the hardship experienced by the people.

The Bishop noted that the poor economy has continued to make life difficult for the people, as the value of the naira continues to decline, while the high cost of goods and services, including food items, continue to soar.

“The flawed implementation of the cash swap policy, which resulted in a cash crunch, has added to the ordeal, hunger, anger and frustration of the people.

“We enjoin all to strengthen security measures in their homes and institution. We call on all Nigerians to be law-abiding and vigilant and to shun all forms of violence and criminality, ”they said.

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