A Catholic priest, Rev. Fr Charles Chibuzo Igbokwe, has called on Nigerians from the Southeast region of the country to troop out en masse to cas
A Catholic priest, Rev. Fr Charles Chibuzo Igbokwe, has called on Nigerians from the Southeast region of the country to
troop out en masse to cast their votes in the forthcoming general elections.
He gave the charge during the Sunday Mass today at St Gregory The Great Parish Church, Idaw River in Enugu, Enugu State, and warned parishioners against the consequences of heeding the call by Nnamdi Kanu to boycott the elections.
It will be recalled that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu had earlier called on the people of region to boycott the elections.
The parish priest, Rev Fr. Igbokwe, said that it would be wrong of the parishioners to stay indoor rather than perform their civic duties to the nation.
Fr Igbokwe also reminded the congregation that in line with the directive from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), all the parishioners should embark on fasting and prayer (6am to 12pm) starting from Wednesday to Friday for the country to have a peaceful election.
“We want God to intervene in the affairs of Nigeria this time,” he said.
He advised the people to caution their youths against running fowl of the law and provoking the security forces as the military’s Operation Python Dance III would take effect soon.
“Those Igbo youths who were killed during the last operation python dance, are people still talking about them? Has anybody been held accountable for their death?,” he asked.
Fr Igbokwe added: “We heard that a certain group or individual asked the people of the southeast zone to boycott the elections.
“How can you boycott the election when you are Nigerians? You cannot effect any change in the society by shunning the election when we all are still Nigerians.
You can only effect a positive change by going out to cast your votes on the day of election; it’s your civic responsibility.”
The priest advised Kanu and his group to sponsor credible candidates of their choice and mobilize his members to elect such candidates into offices as governors, state legislators and members of the National Assembly whom he could influence and pressure for the referendum he has been talking about.
“You can’t be talking of referendum when you are not controlling the five governors in the southeast, state legislators and a reasonable number of the national assembly members,” he noted.
He told the congregation to be wise and never allow themselves to be fooled by anybody in the guise of giving them a new Republic.
He added: “The Biafran thing, they are talking about; it’s not bad if we are given Biafra but the approach Kanu and his group is using is not good. You people have to be wise. On the day of the election, please go and vote; nobody will molest you because you are doing your civic responsibility.”