The Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins has called on all church leaders to encourage their congregation to vote for the “right candidates” in the 2019 general elections.
He also urged politicians to avoid electoral violence as the election approaches.
Revd. Martins gave the advice while addressing journalists after the ordination of Deacon and Priests at the Catholic Church of the Ascension, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Archbishop, emphasizing the impact of religion in politics, encouraged all clergymen to sensitize their members to participate in the election process by voting for worthy and capable candidates.
He said, “Our clergymen certainly have a duty of sensitising our people to vote and vote for the right persons. The candidates that they know would serve the best interest in terms of social, religion, and ethnic diversity that we find in our country Nigeria.
“We are aware of the challenges in this country, as citizens, we should vote for the right person, this would be done by choosing those we believe are capable of serving Nigeria,” he said.
Revd. Adewale urged election stakeholders including INEC and security agencies to operate unbiasedly and create a level playing ground for all candidates while discouraging politicians from inducing voters with money.
“Politicians, from our experiences, have different ways of violating regulations that are placed on elections.
“I believe it is the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies and INEC to ensure the politicians do the right thing to advance our country and stop vote buying.”
Revd. Martins also maintained that politicians should avoid any action or speech that could incite violence or crisis before, during or after the elections.
The diaconate and priestly ordination had Okoli Harrison Chinagorom ordained as a deacon and Rev Joseph Oyewole Oyekunle, Rev Martin Ebuka Oznwafor, Rev Paulmary Taiwo Otukpe, Rev Emedo Raymond Uchenna and Rev Toye Andrew Abiodun ordained as priests.
After being ordained, the newly ordained were charged to practice what they teach, “Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you now are, believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”