New Telegraph

Nigeria’s unpleasant past’ll make it stronger, better –CAN

  • Charges INEC to remain unbiased

 

The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, has said Nigeria must learn from the unpleasant experiences of the last 62 years to become a strong, better and a resilient nation.

Archbishop Okoh, who urged Nigerians to carefully look out for sincere and genuine politicians, who would provide the basics that would be the catalyst for economic growth and development, insisted not all Nigerian politicians were the same.

He said: “There are those that still have the interest of the people at heart. They are in our midst but you must be out, aside primordial sentiments and be objective to be able to find them.”

The CAN President, who made these known in an Independence Day message made available to newsmen, yesterday, in Abuja, further

Nigeria’s unpleasant past’ll make it stronger, better –CANadvised Nigerians to refrain from engaging in acts that would destroy the fortunes and the prospects of country, bearing in mind they have a stake in the country.

“Rather than take up arms to kill each other and terrify innocent Nigerians, adults in this nation should take up their voters’ cards and go to the polls. We must 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. We must not relent in praying for the success of the 2023 elections and supporting the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a free, fair, and peaceful polls next year.

 

“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 many citizens angry, we must not lose hope!

 

“I urge you to take the unpleasant experiences that have plagued our nation in the past as necessary lessons of life that will make us a stronger, better and resilient nation on earth.

 

“In the face of the hardships in our country, let us continue to exercise patience through perseverance as we bring all our challenges to God, trusting that He will reveal His righteousness and grant us justice in our times of distress.

 

“I appeal to the Federal Government to go the extra-mile to resolve the impasse  with the university lecturers for the sake of our young people, whose future is at stake. I also urge the government at all levels to provide basic infrastructure – security, good roads, constant electricity supply and basic health care for citizens and other residents in Nigeria.

 

“I pray to our Lord to rescue Nigeria from the hands of wicked people, grant us peace, and help us continue to love one another irrespective of our religious and ethnic diversities.”

 

Meanwhile, the Niger State chapter of CAN has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to remain focused and unbiased during and after the 2023 general elections.

 

While addressing Christians in the state at this year’s independence interdenominational prayers service at the 1st ECWA Church, Minna, the Chairman of CAN, Niger State, Most Rev. Bulus Dauwa Yohanna, charged Nigerians to collect their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVCs) if they must redeem the country.

 

According to the Chairman, who is also the Catholic Bishop of Kontagora Diocese, Christians across the nation had gathered to pray for Nigeria, so that it will attain true nationhood and fulfill its destiny according to God’s plan.

In his words: “I appeal to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu and his team both at National and States levels to be firm, upright and to remain unbiased during and after the 2023 elections”.

He added that, “we celebrate our political independence and rejoice in our freedom, not because everything is as it should be, but because we have hope in God’s power to right the wrong and in ourselves to heed the call of the Gospel to bring about the reign of God which is peace, justice and equity in our land.

“We celebrate to remind ourselves to do all in our power to bring about true independence and freedom of every Nigerian.

“Our celebration today is a challenge to us who aspire for a better nation and a better future for us and for the next generation to work to change the current narrative and status quo in our nation polity”.

While warning that, if Nigerians get it wrong in 2023, it would mean doom, Bishop Yohanna said: “As we approach 2023 general election, let us see it as another golden opportunity being afforded us by God and do our due diligence in making sure that we use our God given intelligence to select leaders who have the capacity, credibility, knowledge, good character to create an enabling environment for all Nigerians to thrive, live in dignity and in peace and in God given freedom.

“We continue to implore all the leaders of our churches to take our call seriously by encouraging their members to go and collect their PVC and not to be discouraged by the wait time that may be required.”

He further disclosed that “despite all the security, economic and social challenges being experienced by the country and Niger State in particular, there was so much to appreciate God for especially for the uninterrupted democracy since 1999.”

The CAN Chairman also added that, “we must actively promote the Christian duty of active participation in our civic responsibility by going out to cast our vote on Election Day.

“A Christian worthy of that name must see the coming election as a duty to bring Nigeria back from the brink of destruction and as an assertion of faith that God truly desires all that is good for us and we shall cast our votes to bring to fulfillment the good that God desires for us and for our nation”.

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