Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "To sell one’s vote is to sell one’s conscience. As good citizens, we must avoid actions that will reduce the credibility of the elections", says a statement by the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos, at the end of their assembly.
On February 16, general elections will be held in Nigeria. Voters will be called to renew the Federal Parliament and elect the Head of State.
"Being an election year, 2019 appears delicate: we call on Nigerians to carry out their civic responsibilities with diligence and patriotism" affirms the message sent to Agenzia Fides. "Nigerians should see the election as a duty to enthrone good leadership, and no amount of financial inducement should sway us".
The Bishops also called on the electorate to repudiate politicians and parties who are prone to violence and electoral tricks and have called for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to give equal treatment to all parties in order to guarantee fairness and credibility.
"The hopes of a free and fair election in Nigeria rests on the ability of INEC to be neutral in the discharge of its duties", they underline.
Former President Olusegun Obansanjo has accused the current Head of State Muhammadu Buhari, who is running for a second term, of preparing a gigantic electoral fraud operation in order to be re-elected. Obansanjo, who supports the main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar, has explicitly accused INEC stating "he has serious doubts about its integrity, impartiality and competence to organize fair, free and credible elections". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/1/2019)