Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Very often a people get the kind of Government they deserve", warns His Exc. Mgr. Augustine Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin City and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), in Abuja during the opening of the first Plenary Assembly of Nigerian Bishops, Sunday March 6. Referring to next year's general elections, Mgr. Akubeze stressed that "the number of Nigerians who vote is very low", noting that "those who do not vote, they have already voted by allowing a few to determine the future of the majority". One of the arguments used by those who do not exercise their right to vote is that of electoral fraud. A justification rejected by the Archbishop of Benin City for whom "the argument that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) or other agents may not make our votes count is no longer acceptable". "We must exercise our right to vote and then speak to protect our vote".
The President of the CBNC urged Nigerians to resist the temptation to fall into a divisive political campaign ahead of next year's general election. "We call on all Nigerians to get their Permanent Voters’ Card, and get ready to vote according to their personal conviction of who is capable to lead Nigeria or the State to a better life. Vote for those who can ensure the security of life and property. Vote for those who have shown that they have the capacity to unite us as a people. Vote for people who possess the capacity to make Nigeria into industrial hub for Africa. Vote for people who can make Nigeria a land of opportunity for all. Vote for people who can make our dreams come to life. Nigerians must resist the temptation of falling into a divisive political campaign".
According to the President of the CBNC, the 2023 elections offer Nigerians a new opportunity to correct what they have done wrong in the past, especially in their participation in the political life of the nation - because, as the Bishop Akubeze points out, "we have failed God as individuals who allow corruption to deprive us of living the good life God has given to us. We have failed God by allowing insecurity and criminality to thrive". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 7/3/2022)