AS the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) prepares to conduct supplementary elections in some states on March 23, the Auxiliary Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese Diocese of Abuja, Most Rev Anselm Umoren has admonished politicians to desist from vote-buying as such habit leaves the country with no future.
He has also advised INEC to be better prepared for the conduct of elections to avoid the pitfalls witnessed in the recent exercise.
The clergyman spoke to reporters in Abuja on Sunday during the 2019 Feast Day Celebration of Saint Patrick Edo/Delta Catholic Community hosted by St. Kevin’s Catholic Church, Jikwoyi, Abuja.
While harping on the need for the electoral body to do better, he described as “useless way” the use of money by politicians to secure votes.
Most Rev Umoren stated: “I am not INEC. So, I cannot give you a review of general elections but maybe we should prepare a little bit more than what we have done, try to change the mentality of Nigerians that we don’t live on a short term.
“They should be things on long term and that should reflect who we elect to represent us. What criteria do we use to elect people, because this whole issue we are hearing of people using money to get vote, that is a useless way of living and if Nigerians want it that way, they should know that they do not have any future, they are not building a future.
“We must get beyond that and think of electing people who have the quality and who have shown it. We don’t just elect people by what they say but by what they have done before, they have precedence and in that regard, we know they can do better.
“But if I have done nothing before and you elect me, what do u expect?
Whatever I do is what I can do. So, we need to go be beyond this childish way of living and acting and begin to take responsibility for our lives and the lives of our children in future.”
The Catholic Archbishop stressed that people must vote for whoever can provide them good representation rather than for a candidate they would be forced to put up with for another four years no matter how bad he/she might be.
He said: “We don’t have that (supplementary elections) in Abuja but wherever they have, we call on people to go out and vote for whoever they want to represent them.
“At the end of the day, whatever decision you make is what you will leave with in the next four years.
“So, people must make sure that whoever they will be comfortable with are the ones they elect.”
On the celebration of the feast of St Patrick, Archbishop Umoren explained that St Patrick was an important figure in the church, an epitome of how Christians should love their neighbours including those who hate them.
He added: “That is the trademark of Christianity. It is not just to love those who love us. And Jesus said that if you do that, there is no difference between you and pagans.
“But for Christians, we must go beyond that to love who we sometimes have the perception that they do not love us.
“Even if it is a reality that they do not love us, we are still called to love them because God loves us even though we still do things that we should not do. SSaintnt Patrick is an example in that regards.”
The Vice Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, Prof Ignatius Onimawo, who was the guest speaker at the occasion, spoke on the need for husbands to show leadership in their homes.
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