From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna Archdiocese, Most Rev. Matthew Ndagoso has urged Christians not to vote for any political party that fields same-faith ticket for the 2023 elections .
Speaking in Kaduna, he argued that such tickets do not promote equity, fairness and unity especially in a diverse country like Nigeria as he insisted that religion is an important factor to be considered in the nation’s socio-political charter, which any political party or presidential candidate must take into consideration when making their choices for elections.
He further admonished Christians not to waste their votes and to avoid voting any political party that fields same faith ticket into power, adding that any party that is insensitive to the feelings of Christians must be ready to live with the consequences of their action.
Rather, Bishop Ndagoso admonished the electorate not to vote for candidate who values Nigeria’s religious and cultural differences.
The cleric also noted that Nigerians have suffered unimaginable socio-economic hardship in the last seven years, wondering who could fix the system in the next dispensation.
“If any candidate or political party dismiss other peoples sensitivity, I think they are sending a message to them. Any candidate who does not care about our religious sensitivity, why should we vote the person into power? It is a waste of votes. Anybody who aspire to lead this country must give every Nigerian a sense of belonging and what is happening now is not giving every Nigerian a sense of belonging.
“Nigeria is a very diverse country, we all come from different cultural and religious backgrounds and our diversity are not a curse but a blessing from God. We need leaders who can manage this our diversity very well. Therefore if our cultural and religious background should be properly managed, it will enrich our country.”
Ndagoso reiterated that Nigeria need leaders who can manage both religious and cultural differences well in order to give everybody a sense of belonging.
“We have leaders who don’t value our cultural and religious differences and that is why there is agitation for self-determination. Our leaders are so nepotistic.
What we have gone through for the past 7 years in this country is unimaginable. We have never suffered in this country the way we are suffering in the last seven years, we have leaders who are not able to manage our diversity very well, they are so nepotistic. The damage they have done to this country, I don’t know how many years it will take to fix it.”
He emphasised on the economic hardship in the country, saying that many Nigerians barely eat two square meal a day.
Bishop Ndagoso also called on the government to tackle the insecurity bedevilling the country, saying that some of his priests are still in kidnappers den after many months of being abducted by bandits.
The Catholic cleric also talked about the rising security challenges bedeviling the country, which he said posed a major threat to the 2023 general election if not nipped in the bud as soon as possible.
He, however, called on security agencies and president Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that no part of the country is under the strong hold of bandits and terrorists, noting that there is no way the will exercise their franchise in the midst of insecurity.