By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
September 11 (Newshour.com.ng) – The
The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, Archbishop Lucius Ugorji, has called on Supreme Court judges to be cautious while ruling on the February 23rd, 2023 Presidential election results, saying they should neither bend the law nor seek to satisfy the whims and caprices of any party.
Archbishop Ugorji who made the call while declaring open the second plenary session of CBCN for the year 2023 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama, Abuja, said with the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, Nigerians trooped out en masse to cast their votes while looking forward to a free, fair and credible elections and hoping that their votes will count.
He said despite the reassurances by the INEC to deliver credible general elections in 2023, the elections fell short of the people’s expectation as well as moral and legal standards hence the confidence of citizens in the 2023 electoral process was eroded by the many pitfalls and irregularities evident before, during and after the elections.
According to him, many national and international observers had already confirmed that the general elections were flawed by threats, intimidation, violence, spilling of blood, poor logistics arrangement, inducement, impunity as well as lack of transparency, manipulation of results, abuse of the power of incumbency, alleged
“glitches” and outright rigging.
Earlier in a homily at the opening mass heralding the the weeklong activities of the Bishops Conference,the Bishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama called on Nigerians to be promoters of peaceful coexistence on all fronts.
The Bishop who lamented the many victims of violent conflicts, people sacked from their homes owing to nefarious activities of terrorists, bandits and kidnappers, urged the citizenry to seek solutions to the multidimensional problem of the nation and reach out to the ones in need.
Archbishop Kaigama, called on Nigerians to face the real problems of the country rather than using religion as a weapon of violence or taking lives at the slightest provocation.
He called on government at all levels to caution religious leaders who make inflammatory statements on social media and as well as ensure that in distributing palliatives, that what is meant for the hungry truly gets to them.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, who has been posted to Poland, decried the news of the barbaric murder of a seminarian of Kafanchan Diocese, describing it as one of the latest crimes committed in Nigeria against people of all ethnicities, religions and social classes.
He said, although the civil authorities have the primary duty to protect the life and property of every citizen without distinction, unfortunately in Nigeria, this still seems far from being realized.
The Apostolic Nuncio expressed some concerns about the future of the Church in Nigeria, and recommended that attention be paid to certain aspects to be corrected or certain tendencies to be avoided.