Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, has slammed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for failing to meet Nigerians’ expectations in the presidential election.
In a sermon delivered on Sunday at St. Augustine Church in Lugbe, Abuja, Kaigama said the electoral body had failed to keep its promise of transparency in the collation of election results.
According to the cleric, many Nigerians turned out in large numbers to vote for their preferred candidates, but the process did not achieve the level of transparency expected.
Kaigama, on the other hand, praised the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party, Peter Obi, for calling their protesting supporters to order.
Many people turned out and enthusiastically voted, believing that the transparency promised would be guaranteed.
When it did not happen in all cases, as many felt that the process was compromised, many wanted street protests, but thanks to the maturity of the top contenders who called all to order and obedience to the laws of the land, we have yet survived together again as against those predicting doom.
We encouraged people to get registered, to obtain their voting cards, to go out and vote. They enthusiastically trooped out to vote but to their greatest chagrin, the process did not achieve the degree of transparency expected.
Despite all, remain calm and peaceful. Let peace reign. May God protect Nigeria and all Nigerians. There are very hostile, inflammatory, and provocative statements going around. Do not be lured into losing your cool.
Please, participate fully in the remaining elections on Saturday. God is still the God of all Nigerians.
Kaigama also admonished the politicians to allow the judiciary to perform its constitutional functions, saying God above was watching how the courts will perform.
He also cautioned judicial officers to strive to be impartial and courageous in upholding the truth, which he noted was significant in the delivery of justice.
We concluded our presidential and National Assembly elections last Saturday. Those not satisfied with the results are heading to the courts.
Let the courts do their work with the greatest sense of justice. God above is watching how the courts; the hope of the common man and woman will perform.
The Supreme Judge of the Ultimate Tribunal is waiting for those who dispense justice with a sense of fairness or do so with great personal bias or get compromised because of some material reasons. Let justice be done.
For political leaders, there is no need to fight dirty, rig, or manipulate elections, if the desire is to genuinely serve the common good.
Those who take over positions of leadership should only seek to add building blocks of cohesion and development rather than destroying past good legacies or to discontinue from them; to serve, and not to be served; to build and not to destroy; to bind and not to divide.