By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
As Nigerians head to the polling centres to elect leaders of their choice in the general elections this year, they have been told to ensure those they vote will work towards making the country secure and prosperous.
The charge was handed down by the President of The United Church of Christ in Nigeria (HEKAN), Rev. (Dr.) Amos G. Kiri, during the 2023 New Year Celebration Service on Sunday January 1, 2023.
“Those of you who already have the PVC, keep it well and safe. Those who have changed voting polling areas, be ready to go and perform your civic duty by electing the person of your choice.
“Vote wisely. We will not relent in voter education of our members so that we will not fall victim to electing the wrong people or wasting our votes. The slogan is to vote to protect your interest and the interest of your children born and unborn.
“Don’t sell your vote. I want to also use this medium to call on our youths not to allow themselves to be used by politicians for selfish gains. Any politician that will induce you to cause harm to his opponent should be resisted. Don’t allow yourselves to be used and dumped like an orange that has been soaked and thrown away. Let us all continue to pray for free and fair elections come 2023,” he said.
He said that political campaigns have been going on in earnest as politicians have started visiting worship places to solicit votes.
“They will come with sweet tongues and endless promises. There is nothing wrong with any candidate campaigning and lobbying to get voted into power. You as the electorate too must know the power you hold. Your one vote can be the determining factor.
“Use your vote wisely when the time comes. Not long ago, I joined other leaders of thought to urge you to go and get your Permanent Voters Card (PVC). This is the only legal document that gives you the power to vote and be voted for. I hope you heeded my call and have registered, re-registered, and collected your PVC,” he said.
On the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial policies on dispensing of money and spending, he described it as laudable.
“CBN policy on cash withdrawals is a laudable initiative that if properly implemented will reduce the amount of physical cash in circulation thereby encouraging the use of electronic platforms for settlement or payment for goods and services; it will help to authenticate and formalize the transactions that are done and it helps to curb corruption and the flow of black money, which increases economic growth.
“I will only hope and pray that CBN and all other relevant government agencies intensify the enlightenment of the citizens on the significance of the new policies. I, therefore, encourage us all to comply with the new regulation of N500,000.00 Naira for individuals and N5,000,000.00 Naira weekly withdrawals for corporate organizations,” he said.
Reverend Kiri called on ministers
of Christ to be more dedicated to their calling, and to dwell on the theme as they continue to prepare God’s people for Eternity.
“You must live your lives as an example to your members whom you are called to prepare and guide to live with God in eternity, you must remember that God will ask of you for the work you do as a shepherd of his church. Put away all forms of distractive sentiments capable of disuniting the body of Christ. Be focused on your God-giving responsibility,” he charged.
On the HEKAN Secretariat Project, he explained that it has progressed very well to the glory of God and hopefully would be completed in 2023.
“The current state of work at the Secretariat is completion, a slow but detailed activity involving, floor tilling, doors, window panels, electrical wiring, air conditioning, toilet equipment, and furniture. I wish to solicit your support and contribution in kind and cash to see to the completion of this flagship project that we have all laboured on since 2017.
“Sometime in 2023, we shall be approaching the Church and goodwill individuals for support believing that God will provide you with the means to support his project. I believe with your support we shall commission the Secretariat for use in 2023 God willing,” he assured.
The HEKAN President said that their Clinic project is an initiative sponsored by African Services in collaboration with HEKAN Church, which when completed, shall provide medical services in the form of a standard health center including but not limited to ant-natal services, maternity services, minor surgical operations, in-patient and out-patient treatment, medical emergencies including accident cases and pharmaceutical services, etc.
“The clinic shall also serve the community as well as serve as an instrument for the propagation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am happy to let you know that the project is currently at the roofing stage; we hope by God’s grace to commission the clinic for use in 2023,” he said.