Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, President Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Sunday urged the Federal Government to review the new cash policy to ease the hardships it has caused Nigerians.
Ugorji made the appeal at the opening of the 2023 First Plenary of CBCN held at the Catholic Secretariat in Abuja.
The meeting has the theme: ‘Citizens’ participation in good governance in Nigeria’.
While expressing sadness over the situation, Ugorji said that the policy had resulted into serious cash crunch, and anger and frustration among Nigerians.
The CBCN president advised politicians to stop engaging in mudslinging, acrimony, arson, buying and selling of votes, threats, intimidation and violence ahead of the general elections.
Ugorji said instead of dissipating energy on negativity, those aspiring for political offices should concentrate on marketing their manifestoes.
He also advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to live above board and ensure that the election process is beyond reproach.
“The elections, if well conducted, can be a turning point in our political and economic history.
”We, therefore, urge all to play their roles maturely and creditably during the period of the general elections,” he added.
He said that political contest should never be perceived as a “do or die” affair.
“Any candidate who is prepared to shed blood or to spend huge sums of money to buy votes or to comprise INEC shows that he or she is seeking political office for pure self-aggrandizement.”
He reminded the faithful of their civic and moral responsibility of voting during elections.
On his part, the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh commended the CBCN for always speaking truth to power no matter the situation.
Okoh said CAN had registered with INEC to observe the forthcoming elections and had trained 1, 200 observers.
He added that the international observers from the All African Conference of Churches would also observe the elections.
“This will be our modest contribution in ensuring a free, fair and credible election in Nigeria this year,” the CAN president said.
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, in his homily advised Nigerians to make informed choices during the elections.
“With our votes in the coming weeks, we can either choose a reasonable and productive use of power towards unity, security, a good economy or just abandon our fate in the hands of people who have neither capacity nor conscience,” Kaigama said. (NAN)