The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), has advised Nigerians to use competence as the yardstick as they go to the polls to choose a new President for the nation in 2023.
The group called on Nigerians to avoid the temptation of falling into a divisive political campaign ahead of next year’s general elections in the country.
Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, the President of CBCN, made the remarks during the opening of the organisation’s first plenary in 2022, held in Abuja.
Akubeze said that Nigerians cannot run away from the fact that very often, people get the kind of government they deserve, lamenting that the number of Nigerians who vote was very few.
He explained that for those who do not vote, they have already voted by allowing a few to determine the future of the majority.
Akubeze called on all Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter’s Card, and get ready to vote according to their personal conviction of who is capable of leading Nigeria to a better life.
He added, “Vote for people who possess the capacity to make Nigeria into an 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.”
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Catholic Diocese of Abuja, lamented that Nigerian leaders were not ready to die for the masses.
He observed that Nigerians are yet to find leaders who are prepared to die for their nation, as in the case of the late President of Chad, Idriss Deby, who died leading his people in battle, or recently, like the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is courageously leading his people and stoutly defending the territorial integrity of his nation by an invading hostile power.
Mr Kanu Agabi, a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, listed measures that should be put in place, including stopping the appointment of wrong people in positions, strict enforcement of laws and examining the structure of the States to make the country better.
He advised that Nigerians must stop appointing unqualified people into high offices, saying that there is the urgent need to examine the structure of the States.
The States, as presently constituted, he added, are easily open to manipulation and exploitation by one man – particularly since all executive power is vested in one man under the constitution.