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2023: Sultan, Christian clerics counsel electorate on right way to vote



Ahead of the 2023 elections, religious leaders across the country have appealed for calm while urging the citizenry to exercise their franchise devoid of primordial sentiments.

Among them was the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, who advised Nigerians to collect their Permanent Voters Cards in order to ensure the stability of the country’s democracy.

This counsel was contained during speeches delivered by the clerics in Abuja, on Wednesday, at the fifth annual Peace Conference and General Assembly of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace with the theme: ‘Religion and ethnicity: Safeguarding the 2023 general elections.’

The Sultan, who was represented by the Director of Administration, NSCIA, Zubairu Usman, advised them to do so without being influenced by primal sentiment.

He said, “We are first Nigerians before anything else. So, Nigerians should go and get their PVCs, conducts themselves peacefully, go to the polling units on election days and vote with wisdom and according to their conscience.

“They should not be swayed by any other primordial sentiment, but according to their conscience.”

According to him, the outcome of the elections was in God’s hand, stressing that it was the creator who would decide the fate of all the candidates.

READ ALSO:2023: Sultan cautions Nigerians on ethnic, religious bias

Abubakar added, “God gives power to whom he pleases and deprives power from whosoever he pleases. He gives honor and glory to whom he pleases and debases whosoever he pleases.”

In addition, Okoh, who was represented by the Most Rev. Benebo Fubara-Manuel, stated that Nigerians should listen to God and cast their votes in accordance with their consciences notwithstanding CAN’s zero-tolerance policy on the subject of same-faith presidential candidates.

He added that a Muslim-Christian ticket or the opposite would defuse the nation’s rising interreligious animosity, thus CAN had taken its position against same-faith tickets long before the political parties nominated their candidates.

Okoh said, “Individuals will vote according to their consciences. Vote the person that God has placed in your heart as the leader of the country even when CAN says no to same-faith ticket.

“CAN hasn’t said no to our consciences. It is only saying to us; listen to your God. Look at the country and its economy, and find the best leader.

“Why did CAN say no to same-faith ticket? It is in order to ease the tension in order to make sure that political parties play in such a way that we, as a nation, can be able to manage our diverse religious and ethnic consciousness.”

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