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Monday, March 11, 2019

Election Is Not a Battlefield - Onaiyekan React to Election Violence

The outgoing Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, on Monday frowned at the violence and militarisation of the polls across the nation.

He said election is supposed to be an opportunity for Nigerians to choose their leaders, and not a battlefield.

Onaiyekan said this at the opening mass homily of the 1st Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and the Dedication of St Gabriel Chapel Building at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Durumi, Abuja.

According to Onaiyekan, he said;
“Elections are supposed to be an opportunity for us to choose those who will serve us. In many cases, it has been turned into battlefield for warriors fighting to capture power and conquer territory and people.
No wonder it has become such a do or die affair- winner takes it all. No wonder the process has been militarised with armed thugs engaging our security forces, who in their turn are rarely able to be as fair and professional as they claim to be. No wonder votes often no longer count.
When this happens, it is not only the losing contestant who alleges fraud. More significantly, it is the people, the voter, who is denied the once in four years opportunity to choose who will serve us as political leaders.
If the name of the political game does not change from domination to service, elections will continue to be problematic and the nation will continue to stagnate”.
He however charged those who won in the elections to always discharge their duties, having in mind that power belongs to God alone and He would demand for accountability on how power is used.

Read below;
“Whatever the outcome of our elections, fair or foul, whoever holds power at the end of the day, even with the fairest of election victory, must remember that power belongs to God and Him alone.
He will demand strict accountability on how anyone takes power, and how anyone uses power. God cannot be deceived or challenged”.
He warned that bad governance would not lead to good governance.

Onaiyekan also said the voter apathy and boycott that almost marred the march 9 Governorship and States House of Assembly was as a protest and a vote of no confidence of the electoral process by the electorates.

Source: Thenation

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