The general elections are by the corner. We praise and give thanks
to God for his love for us, which is without end. Expectedly, there is
a lot of anxiety. We are right to feel a sense of trepidation largely
because of where we have come from in the last few years. However,
in spite of everything, we have remained united in prayers for a new
dawn for our nation. ”Our hope does not disappoint us because the
love of God has been poured into our hearts” (Rom.5.5)
These elections should therefore be for us a time for sober reflection
on our future as a people. We should further reflect on how to keep
our country and our people united and peaceful. With the resources
available to us as a country, we can achieve this. The world is
looking up to us and expecting much from us.
Elections give us an opportunity to assess those who want to govern
us. We must therefore think very carefully, because electing our
leaders comes with moral obligations and responsibilities. We wish
to appeal to our fellow citizens to please put cynicism aside and go
out to cast their votes on election day, guided by their conscience.
We further appeal to the Security Agencies and INEC to rise up to
their duties and responsibilities to ensure that we have peaceful,
free, fair and credible elections. We nevertheless reiterate that the
primary responsibility for this lies with the government. We are
encouraged by the recent declaration of the President in this regard.
Our future depends on this and we urge the relevant bodies to put
our nation before any other consideration.
Finally, we invite our fellow countrymen and women to turn to God
in these trying times. We know that God has shown and continues
to show His love and care for us. Let us continue in prayer for our
brothers and sisters who are in politics, especially those of them
who are seeking elective positions. They have offered themselves to
us to consider them for public service (cf 1. Tim. 2:1-2). And to
those our brothers and sisters either already in office or seeking to
be elected, we say, be effective witnesses to TRUTH and LIGHT for
the common good otherwise we invite you to bow out.
Conscious of the power of prayers in times like these, we therefore
direct all Catholics to fast and pray (especially the Holy Rosary) for
three days; 13-15 February 2019.
We entrust our nation to the maternal protection of Our Lady,
Queen of Nigeria and Queen of Peace.
Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze
Most Rev. Camillus Umoh