NIGERIA: “We Must Avoid a Mentality Of ‘Us Versus Them’,” Bishop Kukah Appeals to Electorate Ahead of 2023 Polls

By Paschal Norbert

YOLA, NOVEMBER 1, 2022 (CISA) – Rt Rev Mathew Hassan Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto has appealed to Christians to make the right choice devoid of political and religious affiliations ahead of the 2023 General Elections.

“We have to all make the right calculations and not be swayed by emotions. Because after all, we’ve been through in Nigeria, we must avoid a mentality of ‘us versus them,” beseeched Bishop Kukah in his address during the 2022 Church Leaders Summit, Yola, Nigeria, on October 29.

Bishop Kukah also urged Christians not to worry about the decisions made by the various political parties in fielding presidential candidates since the power to vote for the right leaders rests with the electorates.

“Nobody is going to force you as a Christian to vote one way or the other. And as I said, I’m moving away from this binary view of Christians and Muslims. That’s not who we are as Nigerians. That’s not what happens in the marketplace or across the country. There are no Christian roads, no Christian thieves or Muslim saints,” said the prelate.

“For me, I don’t see how any Christian – I’m sorry to say – should be worried about the choice that a political party has made. Whatever decision any politician makes, they will live with the consequences,” advised Bishop Kukah.

Nigerians will head to the polls on February 25, 2023, to elect the president and vice president. Additionally, the elections for the Senate and House Representatives will also be held on the same date while the gubernatorial elections will be held on March 11, 2023.

In what promises to be a crowded presidential election, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cleared 18 candidates to contest for the presidency in the 2023 General Election.

According to The EastAfrican, two-time vice president Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) are among the names in the list.