The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was urged by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Friday to make sure that the upcoming general election is smooth, credible, and free of violence, claiming that the Commission has no justification for failing to fulfill its duty.
The top Christian organisation urged the security services to carry out their duties impartially and neutrally, particularly during the next parliamentary elections.
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CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, who gave the charge in a statement, called on Nigerians to resist any attempt to cause disharmony and disaffection before, during and after the elections.
According to him, “We must see the elections as a time of peaceful transition of leadership and not war. Consequently, there’s need for all and sundry to put away religious and ethnic bigotry and allow the will of God to prevail.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, must ensure that this election is seamless, credible, and violence-free. The Commission has no excuse to fail. Four years is enough time for it to have perfected the process and eliminated the glitches that featured in past polls.
“CAN calls on the authorities to beef up security, especially in communities vulnerable to attacks and ensure that no citizen is disenfranchised owing to the precarious security situation in parts of the country.
“We charge the security agencies to be unbiased and remain neutral while discharging their duties, especially during the forthcoming general elections.
“CAN urge all the political parties and candidates seeking elective positions during the forthcoming general elections to accept the results of the polls in good faith in the interest of Nigerians and the unity of the country.
“We note the current sufferings of the people which are gradually becoming unbearable due to the gross shortage of Naira notes in the system and plead with President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify efforts to mitigate the hardship.
“The national leadership of CAN urges all the faithful in the country not to relent in praying for our dear country Nigeria because prayer is the most potent instrument of warfare at our disposal. Let us remind ourselves that the economic, political and security situations in the country do not give joy to anyone, but keep our hopes alive at this time.
“We wish Nigerians peaceful 2023 general elections in advance.”