Most Reverend Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kaduna, has reportedly told INEC that the people of Nigeria demand nothing less than free, fair, peaceful, and credible elections in 2023.
He said that all of Nigeria wants things to change because of the pain its people have through and how murder, kidnapping, banditry, and other types of crime have become the norm across the country.
Archbishop Ndagoso urged INEC in his Christmas message on Saturday in Kaduna to guarantee that every Nigerian vote for the candidates of their choice in the 2019 elections, as is their constitutional right.
The Archbishop said, “No eligible voter should be disenfranchised for lack of access to his or her permanent voter’s card and polling stations. Votes selling or buying is not only illegal according to the Constitution but a sin before God.”
He expressed sadness that this year’s Christmas is being celebrated by Christians in the country amidst fear and anxiety due to the persistent acts of banditry, kidnap for ransom, armed robbery, unrelenting farmers-herders conflicts, insurgency, and ritual killings that claim the lives of so many compatriots every day.
A very high cost of living, he said, is affecting all facets of Nigerians’ lives, and more and more people are falling into poverty.
According to the Archbishop, Nigerians are well aware of the individuals responsible for the country’s current predicament as the world’s capital of the poor, a status gained by the country’s corrupt and incompetent administration.
For the benefit of all Nigerians, he urged people of goodwill to cast their ballots for the right candidates at the upcoming election by collecting their permanent voter cards (PVCs).
Despite continuing struggles with insecurity, crushing poverty, relentless kidnappings, killings, and anxiety over the 2023 general elections, he urged the Church to put its faith in God and not live in permanent dread.
He said, “Like the shepherds, we must have the faith and trust to face our future with confidence and determination knowing that our God is with us all time no matter how difficult and challenging our situation may be.”
While discussing the same-faith ticket, he pointed out that one could assume that no caring and sensitive politician would consider running on such a ticket, especially at the national level, given the current state of Nigerians’ national cohesion.