BY NONYELUM JULIET
The Pentecostal Bishops Forum, Kaduna State Chapter has urged electorates in the State to vote for competent candidate and shun sentiment during the March 11 gubernatorial election.
The clerics averred that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needs to redeem her image of being an unbiased umpire by leaving up to expectations, sequel lots of concerns raised on the February 25th elections.
Addressing a press conference at the Seat of God ministries headquarters of the forum in Kaduna State, the Chairman of the forum, Bishop Ademola Idowu Tinuoye who read the text of the briefing and flanked by no fewer than 15 bishops called for peace and calmness in the face of the various concerns raised.
According to forum, “We acknowledge that the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly election could be conducted and managed better by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as there were avoidable errors and failed promises on the procedures. Imperfection is in nature of mortals, yet basic standards are expected to be met and surpassed in other for losers to be gallant in vanquish and winners to be humble in victory”.
The bishops however said, the uproar that followed after the collation and announcement of the final result as declared by the Electoral body,
INEC calls for deep concern.
“It is evident and crystal clear that tension has built or is rather building and emotion stirred for imaginable and unpredictable consequencesand revolt –a situation if not tamed and properly managed can easily split over into National chaos and calamity. God forbid.
“It is for this reason therefore, that we the Christian Leaders of this Forum as Spiritual fathers and mothers of the land,deemed it necessary and fit to issue a Communiqué to make our position known under the prevailing circumstances, especially considering the fact that Kaduna State is always pivotal and usually known to be a hot spot of crises in Nigeria, in thedistance and recent past”.
After extensive deliberations on the political state of the nation, the Forum
resolved as contained in a 7-point Communiqué signed by the Chairman of the forum Bishop Tinuoye , the forum appealed to the citizens particularly, the body of Christ to exercise restraints considering the delicate peace we have in our dear state.
“This is penultimate and necessitated by the peculiarities of our dear state, Kaduna; situation whereby protests no matter how intended to be peaceful were easily hijacked and mis-presented as sectarian and religious. We cannot afford to breach the peace we currently albeit delicately enjoy under any circumstance.
“That if peace has not brought about any good, violence can definitely not be the solution.“violence is never a conquering virtue” The solution to a bad marriage is not a new marriage. In the wake of this reality therefore, we’re strongly appealing to the Body of Christ in Kaduna State, all our followers and teeming Christian Youths across denominational barriers, not to take laws into their hands, but to tow the path of wisdom and give peace a chance.
“We should not engage in any act of violence that will inflicton the fundamental right of other citizens, thereby hampering the fortune and development of the state.That in the face of the present heat and perceived dissatisfaction of the outcome of the general election, we are of the position that legal redress should rather be sought in the court of competent jurisdiction, while we congratulate the President-elect, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as declared by INEC.
“That, relegating the experience of the just concluded Presidential election to the background, we urge our followers, congregants, all and sundry to shunall forms of Voters apathy and troop out en mass in the forth coming Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly Election on Saturday the 11th of March, 2023 to vote the candidates of their choice without fear and intimidation. This way, we shall be making a statement, not just locally but to the International Community that we are coming of age, on course towards getting it right (Politically) and for a better Nigeria.
“That as a Forum, we are calling on the State Government and its machineries to provide the enabling environment for peace to thrive in Kaduna State.
“To this end, we will remain committed in our responsibilities and obligation as Clergies and Fathers of Faith in the land as bridge builders to uniting all ethnic groups and religious bodies for the common good and development of all. We are relentless in prayers to the Almighty God for His Grace and empowerment in this regard.
“At this juncture, the General Overseers, presiding Bishops, Pastors and Leaders
of Denominations, inter alia, are required to rise above personal feelings and guide members to be objective and proactive in electing leaders without parochial sentiments as they go to vote in the Gubernatorial and State Assembly
Fear of God, competence and experience should be considered in making our choices as Kaduna State needs leaders who will be fair to all without bias in governance and leadership.‘If there is government, there should be governance’. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, those who love it shall prosper” (Psa. 122:6) in this context, Kaduna State and Nigeria at large”.