As Nigerians prepare to go to the polls this Saturday, February 16, 2019, speculations have reached fever peaks, with a polarized electorate seemingly evenly divided among two major actors: the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Whereas many are prepared to go with the continuity mantra, citing Buhari’s anti-corruption war and his at combating unemployment, in the other camp, the supporters of Atiku Abubakar put forward a vision of rapid economic transformation under the direction of a seasoned successful businessman. This is why the counsel of the Catholic Bishop’s of Nigeria, is expedient.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has called on Nigerians to do all within their power to ensure the country remains united and peaceful during the forthcoming general elections and beyond.
This is even as the clerics directed all faithful across Nigeria to fast and pray for three days this week in order to avert crises during the polls.
The directive was issued in a press statement jointly signed by Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, and Bishop Camillus Umoh, the CBCN President and Secretary respectively, and made available to DAILY POST in Abuja this weekend.
The Bishops said: “The general elections are by the corner. Expectedly, there is a lot of anxiety. These elections should therefore be for us a time for sober reflection on our future as a people.
“We should further reflect on how to keep our country and our people united and peaceful. With the resources available to us as a country, we can achieve this. The world is looking up to us and expecting much from us.
“We appeal to the Security Agencies and INEC to rise up to their duties and responsibilities to ensure that we have peaceful, free, fair and credible elections.
“We nevertheless reiterate that the primary responsibility for this lies with the government. We urge the relevant bodies to put our nation before any other consideration.
“We appeal to the people to put cynicism aside and go out to cast their votes on Election Day, guided by their conscience. We must therefore think very carefully, because electing our leaders comes with moral obligations and responsibilities.
“We invite our fellow countrymen and women to turn to God in these trying times. Let us continue in prayer for those who are in politics, especially those of them who are seeking elective positions.
“And to those our brothers and sisters either already in office or seeking to be elected, we say, be effective witnesses to TRUTH and LIGHT for the common good otherwise we invite you to bow out.
“Conscious of the power of prayers in times like these, we therefore direct all Catholics to fast and pray for three days; 13-15 February 2019.”
The gladiators have signed an accord to accept the result of the result of presidential election and held their last campaign with the incumbent Mohammadu Buhari addressing the nation. Whether this last minutes scrabbling for the votes of undecided voters will change the change, Saturday, February 16, 2019 remains a red-letter day for Nigeria’s political history.