Elections: Mediation Centre urges religious leaders to shun partisanship

By Philip Yatai/Jamila Yusuf
#TrackNigeria: Pastor James Wuye, Co-Executive Director, Interfaith Mediation Centre, on Tuesday called on religious leaders to be neutral and pray for peaceful conduct of the 2019 general elections.

He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.

Wuye said that religious leaders were supposed to be fathers of all, irrespective of one’s political party.

He said that over time, religious leaders, whose work was leading people to God, had delved into politics, drumming support for one political party or candidate against the other.

“As religious leaders, we are not supposed to encourage our followers to support a particular party or candidate; we are supposed to be fathers to all.

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“Now that the elections are around the corner, I enjoin all my fellow clerics to do the needful, be neutral and pray to God to choose for us a good leader irrespective of his party.

“All we want is a leader that will be a leader for all without preference to ethnicity, religious or party affiliation,” he said.

Wuye also advised youths to shun violence and all forms of political thuggery during the elections, saying that they should be law abiding and not conflict entrepreneurs.

He urged youths to steer clear of politicians who could incite them to take arms against party opponents just for their personal and selfish interest.

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“Youths must not disrupt election process, instead they should go out, vote for their preferred candidate and turn deaf ears to those asking them to disrupt election process.

“The youth must also desist from going out in the street to destroy properties in protest if their candidate lose in the election or when celebrating their candidate’s victory,” the cleric said.

Wuye also advised politicians to concede defeat, noting that such noble gesture would prevent post-electoral violence that often led to loss of lives and property.

According to him, God will hold politicians accountable for any life lost or property destroyed as a result of violence incited by them.

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“We expect those who win to carry everyone along, particularly those who lost, so that together they can take our states and country to a greater height.

“What we want at the end of the election is an open and inclusive government that protect the interest of all,’’ Wuye said. (NAN)

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