The Primate of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh has alerted the federal government that as the 2019 general elections were approaching, that “there is widespread fear in the land.“ Fear of violence, people taking laws into their own hands, fear of the unknown etc,“ he declared.
Primate Okoh who was speaking at the opening of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee Conference in Warri with the Theme, ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’ said the insecurity around the country and pockets of unprovoked attacks being reported constantly especially in some of the Northeastern states were becoming worrisome.
Primate Okoh noted that, “never in the past history of our country has election time been greeted with such widespread anxiety.”
He therefore counseled politicians not to see contest for political offices as do or die affair saying “in every election, there are winners and there are losers.”
However, he said every election result should reflect the will of the electorate, otherwise, it becomes a mockery of the whole exercise.
The Primate therefore appealed to eligible voters to resist every inducement tended towards buying votes “as this will spell doom for all of us in the coming years.“
He called on INEC not only to maintain the posture of an unbiased umpire in the forthcoming elections, “but to be certifiably seen to be doing so in every part of the country throughout this poll.”
“If we must have free, fair and credible elections, all security agencies must remain neutral in this exercise; the military, the police and others must be there to protect the interest of Nigeria as a nation, not individuals or particular political parties.”
The Primate said in spite of the foreboding fear of chaos in the forthcoming elections we should not despair for “as a nation, church and individuals, we can make the Lord our Shepherd…. He will be there to protect us even in the valley of the shadow of death.”