The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, has called on Nigerians not to be guided by their stomachs and pockets, but by their hearts and heads when voting in the 2023 elections.
He said this in his New Year message, warning Nigerians to be wary of predatory politicians who would use religion, ethnicity and regions to divide citizens.
The cleric who quoted Philippians chapter 4 verse 8 urged Nigerians to be guided by the biblical counsel of the Apostle Paul in their choice of political parties and candidates.
He advised that money and stomach infrastructure should not be the motivating factors for voting.
“We each have a duty to go out with a Permanent Voter Card (PVC), queue at our polling stations, behave calmly and orderly, accredit ourselves and cast our vote in the 2023 general elections.
“Regarding the choice of political parties and candidates to vote, we must be guided by the advice of Saint Paul, which says: “what is true, what is noble, what is fair, what is pure, what is lovely, everything that is admirable If something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about it” (Philippians 4:8)… When choosing who to vote for, let your head and heart guide you, not your stomach and pocket…
“Politicians who are now on the campaign trail must do so without hate, bitterness, incitement or misinformation. They need to be careful not to make wild and unrealistic campaign promises that they know in their hearts are not viable,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) described 2023 as a year of golden opportunities for Nigeria, urging people not to miss or abuse the opportunity that the upcoming elections would create to elect leaders who would lead the country to greatness.
CAN President Archbishop Daniel Okoh, who said this, urged those fighting for elective office to be more responsible in making politics with the best interest of the masses at heart.
In his New Year Message, which he titled “2023 will be the year of a turnaround in Nigeria’s fortunes”, the CAN president assured that the CAN would remain non-partisan and would not interfere in the functions of government agencies, but would promote and support good governance at all levels.
He said: “…2023 is a year of golden opportunities for us as a people. I pray that Nigerians do not miss or misuse the opportunity to elect leaders with focus and compassion who will lead our country to greatness. I sincerely appeal to our security agencies not to let up in their efforts to ensure security on our land; and also support the holding of peaceful general elections in 2023.
“Our politicians should realize that we have no other country than Nigeria. Consequently, this reality should inspire them to be more responsible in making politics with the best interest of the masses at heart.
“Similarly, religious leaders must know that there is life after the 2023 general election. Therefore, our speeches and conduct must focus on encouraging our people to build a Nigeria where fairness, justice and fairness reign. above all.
“As we look forward to a better Nigeria, let us continue to pray that the Lord will strengthen our current political leaders to oversee the elections and a successful transition to a new administration in 2023. CAN will continue to partner with government, civil society and partners for the development to build a peaceful and prosperous country… Finally, we urge the government to do more to halt the downward trend of our economy by controlling the sources of leakage and waste of our national resources by 2023.
“May 2023 be the year of a divine turnaround in our nation’s fortunes in the mighty name of Jesus. I wish all Nigerians a peaceful and very prosperous New Year.”
In addition, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Rev. Yakubu Pam, urged Nigerians to embrace the New Year with enthusiasm, describing 2023 as a year in which God will lift Nigeria up.
He said this in a message to celebrate 2023 saying that the year would be special not because it is an election year, but a year of God’s divine mercy and upliftment for Nigeria.
He urged Nigerians to have hope, trust in the Lord for his promises will surely be fulfilled.
He also charged citizens to get up and engage in productive activities to realize the full measure of God’s blessings for the year.