The Catholic Bishop of Zaria diocese, Most Rev. George Jonathan Dodo, has added his voice to calls for Nigerians to vote according to their conscience and not give in to the temptation of selling their votes in the just concluded elections.
During a recent press conference on the elections held at the Pastoral Centre in Zaria, Bishop Dodo warned politicians not to resort to fraud and incitement to violence in an attempt to win the elections. He appealed to voting-age Nigerians to obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) for them to “use their vote for the good of Nigeria as a whole,” he added, “We must say no to vote buying, and vote for candidates who are God-fearing and accountable.”
The Bishop of Zaria also pointed out that the Church does not support individual candidates or political parties, but she has the duty to sensitize and educate “the lay faithful on their civic responsibilities.”
The prelate of Zaria urged his flock and well meaning Nigerians to vote for a candidate of their choice, a candidate “you think has good qualities and capacity to defend, improve and, or add value to your lives and dignity,” he emphasized.
A similar call was earlier made by the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos at the end of their Plenary Assembly. The statement signed by the Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, called on citizens to vote with their consciences during the pending polls.
The Bishops urged Nigerians to defend the country’s democracy by electing patriotic and credible leaders who would be sensitive to the plight of ordinary citizens.
“To sell one’s vote is to sell one’s conscience, as good citizens, we must avoid actions that will reduce the credibility of the elections,” the statement said, in part.