Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has faulted the outcome of the 2019 general elections, insisting that the challenges that affected the credibility of the polls were as a result of weak electoral laws which made the conduct of free and fair elections impossible.
The bishops said that weakness of the Electoral Act, in some cases, created several lacunae, which evil-minded politicians exploited for their own advantage.
They were unhappy that even where the rules were clear, they were never adhered to, thus making it difficult for credible process that would produce winners genuinely elected by the people.
The Catholic Bishops, in a communiqué released at the end of its first plenary meeting in Abuja, yesterday, said that the 2019 general elections fall totally short of global expectation, and added that it is an indication that Nigeria was moving backward electorally.
The communiqué, jointly signed by CBCN President and Secretary, Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze and Camillus Raymond, noted that voter apathy that characterised the governorship and state houses of Assembly elections was not unconnected with the violence, electoral malpractices and unnecessary militarisation of the electoral process.
The communiqué added: “All these eroded people’s confidence in the electoral process. We, thus, demand that government acknowledge the inadequacies that characterised the 2019 elections and embark on a course for redress.
“We equally suggest that government enact, endorse and implement laws and policies that would ensure free, fair and credible elections in the future,” the Bishops said.
Meanwhile, the bishops expressed worry at the persistent devaluation of human lives in some parts of Kaduna, Taraba, Benue, Kogi, Edo, Rivers, Zamfara, Adamawa and other states, for political or economic reasons. They were afraid that the development could pose an existential threat to the fragile peace and unity in Nigeria.