The President of the Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has said that contrary to insinuations, the church has not endorsed any presidential candidate or anybody seeking elective position at every level in the 2015 general elections.
Kaigama, who is also the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, said that rather the church would continue to demand good governance and accountability from those holding public office.
The bishop, who was represented by the Vicar General, Administration and Religious of the archdiocese, Monsignor Cletus Gotan, at the commencement of the 2015 Lenten Campaign at the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Jos on Sunday, said that every political office aspirant would receive the blessings of the church.
He added that such blessing did not mean that such a candidate had received the endorsement of the church.
The cleric expressed worry at the tension being generated by the 2015 elections as if there would never be any other election in the country and advised politicians to desist from campaigns of hate and division.
He said that the theme of the Lenten campaign, “Enforcing the right to good governance,’ was conceived with the realisation that the ultimate goal of any person seeking any office should be for public good and that such a person should exhibit a high sense of service and responsibility in the discharge of the demands of such office.
Kaigama said, “The heat generated by the present campaigns is as if there will be no 2019 and that politics will come and end in 2015. We should be careful and learn from countries that have been engulfed in one form of crisis or the other, especially of religious nature because such countries are yet to come over the trauma they went through.”
While praising the efforts of the Justice, Development and Peace/Caritas Commission in organising the campaign, the second of its kind, the cleric lamented that Nigerians appeared to have lost all sense of humanity as they appeared to have abandoned the feelings of others and respect and sanctity of human lives.
He cited the example of the recent massacre of about 2,000 people in Bagga, Borno State by the extremist group, Boko Haram, regretting that while Nigerians treated such a massacre as a non-issue, the whole world including the French staged a 3,000-man match just for 12 people killed by another extremist group in France.
The archbishop urged all Christians, especially Catholics, to use the opportunity of the Lenten period for a sober reflection and a total turn around to God.