NIGERIA: Archbishop Kaigama Hopeful for Peaceful Elections Devoid of Violence

By Paschal Norbert

ABUJA, FEBRUARY 24, 2023 (CISA) – As Nigerians head to the polls on February 25, the archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Most Rev Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, has expressed his optimism that the general elections will turn out well and the results will be accepted without bitterness or hostilities.

In a Facebook post after meeting a United Nations team led by Kenyan Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide on February 21, Archbishop Kaigama called for peaceful and fair elections and a more united nation.

“Please, join in fervent prayer for credible and violence-free elections – the results to be accepted with great understanding and calm, so that a more peaceful, more united and a new and greater Nigeria will emerge,” he stated.

The prelate appealed to the electorates, security agencies, election officials and all those involved in facilitating the elections not to be undermined but to maintain the integrity of the vote and stand for truth and justice.

“Please, no one should trigger any violence during the elections. I plead in the name of God that election officials, security officials, the judiciary and all those involved directly or indirectly with the elections will not allow themselves to be compromised,” he warned.

In his post, Archbishop Kaigama prayed against evils, manipulations, division, crises, injuries, destructions, revenge, and loss of lives while hoping the elections see Nigerians more united in true brotherhood and sisterhood.

On her part, Ms Nderitu wrote on her Twitter account that she was grateful for discussions she had with Archbishop Kaigama on his role in promoting reconciliation in Jos, and on roles expected of leaders in fostering inclusion, dialogue and atrocity prevention, essential for peaceful and prosperous societies.

The UN Under-Secretary-General also met with His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja and Rt Rev Mathew Hassan Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto.

The race to succeed President Mohammadu Buhari in Africa’s largest democracy on February 25 has attracted political veterans: Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) ruling party, the main opposition leader and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and two-time state governor Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

The three-man race is promising to be a fiercely contested presidential vote, which analysts say is too close to call.