By Taiye Olayemi
The Civic Consciousness Global Initiative (CCGI), a Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO), on Tuesday advised Nigerians to reject any inducement or coercion that would stop them from voting their conscience at the polls.
Rev. Solomon Aderibigbe, Chairman of CCGI, made the call during a press briefing in Lagos.
The briefing centred on “State of the Nation: Toward Making the Right Choices in the 2023 Elections”.
Aderibigbe noted that it had become pertinent to guide and counsel Nigerians on the quality of leaders they must vote for during the elections.
He said the electorate should cautiously consider candidates’ track record, especially how they fared on integrity scale and justice indexes.
‘Nigerians must be careful not to make mistakes of choices that will completely destroy their lives, constitutional rights and survival as a nation.
“We must also consider freedom of religion, commitment to secularity of the state, obedience to court rulings and provision of security to all in every part of the nation.
“Watch out for leaders whose body language is suggestive of division of the country.
“This particular election is very crucial for all citizens; we must all come out and should never allow apathy to deny us the right to choose our leaders in the next dispensation.
“This counsel is from us as elders giving our warning and advice. We feel obligated to do this,” he said.
Aderibigbe urged the coming government to take the plight of the poor passionately and change the old saying that “the poor get poorer while the rich get richer”.
He also advised the youths to focus on repositioning the nation and ignore every temptation to relocate abroad.
“It is time for us as the Church to speak with one voice and face same direction in the quest for justice, equity and fairness,” he said.
Earlier, Bishop Funso Awe, a retired priest of the Anglican Communion and the 2019 governorship candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP) in Lagos, had said that the group was only speaking the mind of God to Nigerians.
According to him, sensitising Nigerians toward their social and political obligations was necessary as Churches have not been proactive about that over the years.
Dr Sunday Makinde, Prelate Emeritus of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, also advised the federal government to promptly wade into the suffering of the masses.
Makinde urged government to address issues like the hike in fuel price and scarcity of the product, limitied access to naira notes and other concerns.
He opined that the anomalies were distractions ahead of the February elections.
“We pray that God will subdue all forms of distractions, vote inducements and all manners of suffering the masses are exposed to.
“This election can mar or make this nation, so we want Nigerians to be allowed to vote their conscience,” he said. (NAN)