by Noah Ebije, Kaduna

The Bishop of the Diocese of Kaduna (Anglican Communion), Dr. Timothy Yahaya, has said that a national renaissance is necessary ahead of the upcoming general elections in the country, and has called on the electorate to resist the temptation to buy and sell votes .

This was even as the bishop called on the terrorists to drop their weapons and enter into dialogue with the government, and urged the government to enter into dialogue with the terrorists in order to rid the country of seemingly endless insecurity.

Speaking to Reporters about his new year message shortly before a new year service at St. Michael’s Cathedral, Kaduna, the cleric noted that morality was going down the drain in the country, humanity reduced to zero and the life becoming a cheaper commodity.

However, he said that the only solution in the present circumstance is an inclusive national renaissance among the citizenry.

To the electorate, he told, “don’t sell your votes, your votes speak for another four years. Selling your votes means you are worthless, money is not everything, selling and buying votes has put us in the condition we are in now, use your PVCs to vote for competent leaders who will bring about real change.

“Let me also use this medium to call on the terrorists to change their way of life, drop their weapons and find a formidable team to engage in dialogue with the government on the way forward. They also live in fear just like Nigerians also live in fear so genuine dialogue is the way to go.

“Dialogue is the way to go for a peaceful coexistence. The power of weapons is limited and that of reasoning is unlimited, may God heal our land and give us God fearing leaders in this election year 2023.” He prayed.

Bishop Yahaya noted that patriotism has become a thing of the past with people giving no consideration to the things that unite them but taking more interest in the things that divide them, adding that no nation grows when divided.

On the upcoming general elections, Bishop Yahaya said, his call is for a peaceful, credible and transparent election where the wishes of the masses are allowed to prevail.

“Politicians must play by the rules of the game and engage in activities to unite the country. Religion and ethnicity do not build a leader but their quality and sincerity of purpose.

“What Nigeria needs now are credible, God-fearing candidates who don’t play donor politics or the politics of sentiment or regionality.

“Sentiments and regions must be eliminated in our choice of who becomes our leader. Voting by regionality should be discouraged because it is equivalent to chasing shadows, we must be united as a Nation to get ahead.

“Most leaders have divided us and that division is used to disenfranchise us, which is concerning and needs to be addressed comprehensively.”

On the vandalism of the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in parts of the country, Bishop Yahaya said that “it is clear proof that there is no security and, if there is, that they are not proactive enough.”

“Those who burn the INEC offices are distracting from our democracy that wants to bring down the nation because burning the INEC offices will not fix the nation.”