By Chinelo Obogo
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has directed all churches in Nigeria to advise their members not to vote any presidential candidates with links to hard drugs, Boko Haram or any violent religious groups.
In a video clip seen by Daily Sun, the senior pastor of Family Worship Center in Abuja, Pastor Sarah Omakwu, read out a circular which emanated from the political and strategy committee of CAN and sent to all the churches in Nigeria.
The circular was titled: “2023 General Elections; Whom To Vote For” and it went on to enumerate the qualities that the presidential candidate must possess and the policies that should either be implemented or rejected.
Among the qualities CAN said Christians should look out for in a candidate are honesty, truthfulness, respect for the rule of law, respect for religious and ethnic diversity, compassionate, disciplined and credible.
The body said the candidate must not be a member of any cult, must not have any involvement with drugs, witchcraft, Boko Haram or any violent religious group. The candidate is required to have performed excellently in previous positions, must have good education sufficient to manage a complex society, effective management skills of human and natural resources.
On policies, CAN said the issue of state police is critical and that there must be religious neutrality of the country, enforcement of the fundamental rights of all Nigerians, restructuring to decentralise governance and equitable sharing of executive offices.
“Offices must be shared fairly to every section of Nigeria. There must be equal ethnic and religious representation in military and security agencies. We say no to the RUGA settlement policy and yes to ranching. There should be education and free healthcare to all Nigerians including almajiris. We reject open grazing, rather, there should be modernisation of animal husbandry, local control of economy including waters, rivers and forests. Everyone should control what we have.
“The candidate must not be a member of any cult, must have no involvement in drugs and witchcraft, no fanaticism, no relationship to Boko Haram or other violent religious groups. The person must have quality performance in previous positions, good education sufficient to manage a complex society, effective management of human and natural resources. The person must have the ability to envision transformation, ability to communicate the vision to diverse peoples, ability to effectively effect the vision of transformation, must be in good health, sound mind and physical fitness for the job,” CAN said.
Speaking on CAN’s directive, pastor Omakwu said: “By the grace of God, He will give us this kind of leader we want. I will add my own advice and say that we should do what Bishop Abioye said this time, we should fight to defend our faith. Power is first about spiritual control before the physical. These people don’t care about governance. This time around, anyone that has the inclination to continue what we have been going through, we would say no that person. Anyone that has the inclination to side one religion above the other, we would fight that person.
“Every Nigerian has the right to worship. If they want to worship a stone, the constitution allows everyone that freedom. This year by the grace of God, we would select a good person. God forbid that a Christian would take their thumb and vote for someone that would restrict our religious freedom. May that person not be named. We would vote and defend our faith. Every Christian has a right to be a Chritian and every Muslim has the right to be a Muslim, so also does every traditional worshiper has a right to worship. Even if you don’t want to believe in God, He gives you the freedom not to believe in Him and no one must contain those liberties,” she said.