By Chigozie Uzosike
As the 2023 general elections draw near, the Priests Peace and Justice Initiative, PPJ, the social arm of Palace of Priests Assembly, PPA has urged pentecostal church leaders to participate in the electoral process to ensure that everyone votes in the forthcoming elections.
Speaking during a one day training of Pentecostal Leaders on Voters Education, Election Observation and Electoral Accountability in the 2023 general elections, Dr. Agbaji Orinya of PPJ noted that under the shun corruption project, sponsored by MacArthur Foundation, the organization is mobilizing christians against corruption by urging that pentecostal leaders must begin to talk about corruption from their churches to the larger society because it concerns everyone.
The knowledgeable Orinya posited that election observation is the deliberate collection of information about electoral process and formulation of judgement about the process by persons not authorized to interfere in the process. He also noted that for pentecostal leaders to observe transparent election, he urged them to be unbiased, non-partisan, credible, not to wear any party uniforms or insignia, act in the interest of the organization that they represent, not to accept gifts or money or any inducement.
He equally urged the participants not to participate in any unauthorized activities, act responsibly and honourably, adding that section 58, sub-section 1 of the New Electoral Act empowers accredited observers to observe elections.
He hinted that election observation adds credibility, promotes peace building, national reconciliation, exposes deficiency for future correction and that it contributes to influencing the conduct of election officials. He ended by saying that bad Officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote. He called on all and sundry to encourage the casting of that one vote because it can change the narrative and ensure good governance.