AFRICA/NIGERIA - Post elections: "There are priests who sow confusion and division"; Archbishop of Ibadan admonishes priests

Friday, 3 March 2023 elections   bishops   priests   local churches  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The two main candidates defeated in the Nigerian presidential elections on February 25 refused to recognize the victory of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and announced that they will appeal to the Supreme Court.
Both Labor Party (LP) candidate Peter Obi and People's Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar are contesting the victory of President-elect Tinubu, who ran for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party, claiming the election result had been falsified by fraud.
Obi literally said: "We won the election and we will prove it to the Nigerians", adding that "we will use all legal and peaceful means to defend our mandate".
Abubakar, who came second in the February 25 election, denounced that "the manipulations and fraud involved in this election are unprecedented in the history of our country" and noted that "the haste of the electoral commission to publish the results is a violation of democracy".
The political controversy also continues in the media, fueled by statements by politicians and civil society, including some priests. Archbishop Gabriel 'Leke Abegunrin, archbishop of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state in the south-east of the country, issued an official statement urging priests to moderate their language and not stir up temper. "It seems that some priests in our church are not behaving like Christians at all and are sowing confusion and division. So I ask all priests to be careful and instead encourage their people to live peacefully together, to love God and to pray. This is not the time to divide or to incite violence," the archbishop warns in his statement, which he read personally on the archdiocese's social channels. Archbishop Abegunrin stressed in this context that the vote in the state of Oyo was peaceful, for which he thanked the residents.
He added that he prayed that the March 11 election for governor will be just as peaceful.
"We must avoid everything that can destroy society: jealousy, bitterness, selfishness and other vices that weaken us", said Archbishop Abegunrin who finally exhorted those who won the elections and those who will win the next elections to to serve the country. "We are confident that the country's newly elected leaders will follow God's will with God by their side. I pray that God will use us in all our activities to make Nigeria peaceful, progressive and holy. With God, nothing is impossible , he just needs our cooperation", he concluded. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 3/3/2023)