AFRICA/NIGERIA - "We hope that the postponement of the election was made with good intentions", said Mgr. Kaigama

Monday, 9 February 2015

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Several citizens are not happy with the postponement of the elections", says His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, following the announcement of the postponement of the presidential and legislative elections, which were to be held on February 14th. The postponement was decided by the Independent Electoral Commission for security problems, related to the violence of Boko Haram, as well as logistic problems (see Fides 07/02/2015).
"Our hope is that this decision was made with good intentions and that, after having solved the problems cited by the Commission, elections are held" said Mgr. Kaigama. The President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria adds that "the Church, through the Justice, Peace and Development Commission of various dioceses, is very active in preparing the faithful to the elections, while it is preparing to monitor the consultation with its observers. The Church continues to stress among the population the importance of voting and the fact that going to the polls is a right and a civic duty".
Mgr. Kaigama illustrates some activities undertaken by the Church to contribute to the proper conduct of elections. "In recent weeks, we have brought together different groups in order to avoid violence and electoral manipulation. We held meetings with the elders in our centers for peace, dialogue and reconciliation, present in all our dioceses.
We had other meetings with the leaders of the young, with representatives of the Electoral Commission, with members of the various security forces and finally with political party members. The latter agreed to sign a document in which they endeavor to ensure that elections are free and fair".
"The Church wants to make sure that the election results are credible and accurate, hoping that this will contribute to peace in our Country", concluded Mgr. Kaigama. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 09/02/2015)