Kaduna Polls: No Cause For Alarm, Catholic Bishop Urges

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By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
The Catholic Arch Bishop of Kaduna, His Eminence, Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, has called for calm as the state prepares for Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The Arch Bishop, who spoke during a press conference in his office on Thursday, in view of the growing tension in the state, said, everyone in the country knows that their is tension generated by the upcoming elections.
“The level at which the tension is rising calls for serious concern to everybody and as a religious leader we owned it a duty to come out and speak, because we want an election we can be proud of. The danger of tension is that it can escalate and if it does, people becomes victims.” He said.
“Let us commit ourselves to the radical rejection of violence in all its forms. Let us pray for good leadership that works for the common good, promotes truth, justice and protection for the weak and the vulnerable, development and peace
We remain people of hope and place our trust in God to direct us in the forthcoming elections. May our loving Creator guide each and every citizen of our dear state and bless our dear country Nigeria, its leaders and its people.
“I urge the security forces to fully carry out their own duty and responsibility to provide full protection during the voting process, to ensure that the voting is free and fair, but above all to protect and defend human lives, to guard against whatever can degrade human dignity
in any form whatsoever. This is a sacred duty given you not only by the state but primarily by God. We depend on you; do not disappoint us.
“We have seen too much violence. Too many people carry the weight of death, destruction and injuries caused by those who do not value their neighbour as they value themselves, their own family and their own homes. People have taken it upon themselves to decide that
only their own way of thinking and believing is correct, and so have wreaked havoc on anyone who has a different way of thinking or believing.
“Too many innocent lives have been lost in the process. Yes, my fellow Nigerians, we have seen too much violence. One person who dies in an unjustified manner is a loss to all of us and a loss one too many. Violence in any part of the country diminishes all of us. We are better than that, and we need to show
the world that we are actually and in reality better than that.” He added.
The Arch Bishop, further stated that, “as a Christian leader, I am again making a special appeal to Christians. We have entered the season of Lent, a season in which we reflect on our own following of Jesus Christ who eschewed violence even to the point of death, and who even in his death, forgave those who
brought it about. The prophet Isaiah reminds us in this season of Lent that the fasting God asks of us is that we reach out to one another, take care of one another and avoid quarreling and strife, so that our light will break forth and healing will quickly come (cf.
Isaiah 58). Yes, my beloved brothers and sisters, we each need to look into our hearts to give up violent thoughts first of all, in order to follow our Lord and Master who showed us
the way.
“As we prepare to vote, I urge each person, each citizen of this country, particularly, of Kaduna state to carry out his or her civic duty and vote according to the dictates of conscience and not to be swayed by others, whether tempted by material goods or overwhelmed by smooth words. To vote and have a say in who becomes a political lead a God-given right and responsibility; let us carry it out with full awareness and without fear or favour.”

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