NIGERIA: Bishops Call for Unity ahead of Polls

ABUJA, FEBRUARY 27, 2015(CISA) – Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has appealed for unity ahead of the forthcoming general elections in March 28.

“We have been witnessing an electioneering campaign largely devoid of issues of national interest but full of threats of violence, falsehood, rumour mongering, mudslinging and suspicion. These events make millions of Nigerians apprehensive and show that we are yet to see Nigeria as a family to which we all belong irrespective of our diverse ethnic, religious and political affiliations,” the bishops said in a Communiqué at the End of the First Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).

The bishops meeting was convened by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre at Lugbe, Abuja between February 20 – 26, and 2015.The theme of the conference was “Good Families Make Good Nations.”

The bishops said that it was clear that “Nigerian politicians, with very few exceptions, speak and act in ways that negate the consciousness of a nation as a family, a community of persons in pursuit of the common good.”

“All political actors and all political parties in the coming elections should know that they are individually and collectively responsible for the process and its outcome,” read the communiqué in part.

The bishops added that utterances and conduct capable of undermining the credibility of the democratic process needed to be avoided and urged Nigerians to assume the responsibility of evaluating the performance and antecedents of those who ask for their votes.

“The time has come to realize that Nigeria is bigger than any individual, bigger than any of her ethnic, religious or political groupings. Our diversity is a beauty to celebrate in gratitude to God.  Every Nigerian has a right to be different in so far as such difference is not inimical to the common good and the ideals we share in common,” the bishops added.

“This is the time to reflect and to identify those ideals summed up in the words of our old national anthem: “Though tribe and tongue (and creed) may differ, in brotherhood we stand,” concluded the bishops.

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