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Make sure elections are free, fair, peaceful, and credible, says Archbishop Ndagoso to INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, has been informed by Most Reverend Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, the Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kaduna, that Nigerians demand free, fair, peaceful, and credible elections in 2023.

He emphasized that killings, abduction, banditry, and other types of criminality have become the norm in the nation and touch everyone in it, noting that everyone in the country is anxious for change in response to the hardship that Nigerians are experiencing.

Archbishop Ndagoso urged INEC to make sure that every Nigerian utilizes his or her constitutional right to vote for the candidates of their choice in the next elections while delivering his Christmas message on Saturday in Kaduna.

No qualified voter should be denied the right to vote because they can’t access their permanent voter’s card or polling places, according to the Archbishop. According to the Constitution, it is not only unlawful to sell or buy votes, but it is also wrong in God’s eyes.

He bemoaned the fact that Christians in the nation celebrate Christmas this year amidst worries and anxieties brought on primarily by ongoing banditry, kidnapping for ransom, armed robberies, ongoing farmers-herders conflicts, insurgency, and ritual killings that claim the lives of many of our countrymen every day.

He continued by saying that Nigerians now have to deal with a very high cost of living that affects all facets of life and that an increasing number of people in the nation are joining the group of people who are already living below the poverty line.

According to the Archbishop, Nigerians are aware of the lousy leadership that fosters mediocrity, nepotism, and incompetence, which in turn fosters corruption and poor administration and has given the nation the awful title of “world’s capital of the poor.”

He made a plea to all good-hearted people to cast their votes for the appropriate candidates, regardless of the sacrifices necessary, in order to alter the national narrative for the benefit of all Nigerians.

He urged the Church to put their faith in God and to avoid living in constant fear, even when they are unsure of what the future holds for them. This is especially important given that they are still coping with insecurity, severe poverty, ongoing kidnappings and killings, and worry about the general elections in 2023.

“Like the shepherds,” he continued, “we must have the faith and trust to face our future with confidence and tenacity knowing that our God is with us always, no matter how demanding and difficult our situation may be.”

Speaking about the same-faith ticket, he stated that one would have thought that no considerate and sensitive politician would think of running a same-faith-ticket, especially at the national level because of the threat it poses to the delicate national cohesion, given where Nigerians are with the fragile nature of national cohesion.

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