From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Ahead of 2023 general elections, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has offered advice to Nigerians on what to look out for in the choice of leaders to vote for.
CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, in an independence day message released in Abuja, on Saturday, advised Nigerians to look out for politicians who are genuine and sincere in their quest to provide the basic things that would be catalyst for socioeconomic growth and development of Nigeria.
He said: “As we march towards the next general elections, let us bear in mind that we have a stake in this country, hence we should refrain from engaging in acts that would destroy the fortunes and prospects of this nation.”
He suggested that rather than take up arms against each other and terrify innocent Nigerians, the power of voter’s cards should be engaged and deployed to select competent and credible leaders that pull Nigerians out of the dungeon of underdevelopment and backwardness.
He advised: “Let’s take up our voters’ cards and go to the polls, and resist any threat, strong or subtle, in whichever form to stop us from going out to vote on the day of elections. We must also shun vote-buying by being conscious of the truth that politicians who present some inducement to voters, especially on the polling day are not really interested in the welfare of the people
“To be honest, I do not believe that all Nigerian politicians are the same. Undoubtedly, there are those that still have the interest of the people at heart. They are in our midst, but we must be out, aside primordial sentiments and be objective to be able to find them.”
He urged Nigerians not to relent in praying for the success of the 2023 elections, supporting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in its quest to conduct a free, fair, and peaceful polls next year.
He, thus appealed to the Federal government to go the extra-mile to resolve the impasse with the university lecturers under the umbrella of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for the sake of students whose future is at stake.
The CAN President also urged governments at all levels to provide basic infrastructures, notably, security, good roads, constant electricity supply and basic health care for citizens and other residents in Nigeria.
He prayed that God rescue Nigeria from the hands of wicked people, grant peace to the country, and help Nigerians continue to love one another irrespective of religious and ethnic diversities.
He congratulated Nigerians on this occasion of the 62nd Independence Day Anniversary, and urged them to acknowledge that God made it possible for the country to take full charge of the abundance of natural and human resources in the country.
He said that despite political instability that Nigeria experienced since independence in 1960, the past and present leaders of the country have demonstrated commitment towards ensuring that the country remain united as one indivisible entity.
“Though, we are still struggling and grappling with so many issues of collective concern, such as insecurity, kidnapping, unnecessary killing and decapitation of innocent citizens, diminishing value of human life, social injustice, desecration of worship places, violent threat to the seat of political power, cheating, blatant stealing of our oil, flagrant degradation of our human environment, denial, betrayal, rejection and outright exclusion in many areas of our existence as a nation, all of which has put many in distress and has made citizens angry, we must not lose hope.
“Let us continue to rely on the faithfulness of God as we continue to do the best we can to ensure that social justice and peace reigns in our country,” he advised.