As the 2023 general election gathers momentum, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has urged Nigeria’s Christian community not to treat politics as foul play.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Dr. Macham Makut, on Saturday, the governor spoke as he received northern Christian leaders in Jos, the state capital.
According to the governor, Christian leaders should galvanize the Church and make demands on candidates running for political office.
Lalong said this was necessary because anyone empowered by God must work in the interest of all Nigerians, including the Christian community.
The Governor said: “This is why we must work harder to mobilize our brothers and sisters to actively participate in the political process to not only decide who leads them, but also have a say at the table when decisions are made. We can no longer afford to treat politics as a dirty game, leaving it in the hands of a few people, and yet complain about marginalization and poor governance. It is the Church that has the solution to the world since Jesus Christ called us the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World”.
Governor Lalong said that as governor and chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, he had enjoyed tremendous support and collaboration from Christian leaders within the state and across the northern region, who had to engage him and other leaders in policy. and government programs, as well as other national issues, particularly as they affected the Christian community.
He revealed that he was aware of the expectations of Christians, especially regarding issues affecting their rights and privileges, as well as security within the political system.
“Therefore, as we approach 2023, when Nigerians will make crucial decisions, I challenge you as leaders to guide your members to be a part of the process first and also ensure that they do not make decisions based on emotions and other factors that will not add. value your aspirations.
“We should be strategic and look at the big picture and how it affects our interests,” he said.
The governor assured them that as a Christian and a Knight of the Catholic Church, he would continue to do everything possible to protect the interests of the Body of Christ in whatever position God gave him to serve the people.
In their goodwill messages, COCIN President Rev. Dr. Amos Mhozo, who spoke on behalf of the leaders of the Plateau denominations, Rev. Dr. Yusuf Wushishi and former Adamawa State Governor Bala Ngilari, said that the Church should participate. in politics by sensitizing its members towards participation in order to promote rectitude in government.
They stressed the need for men of God to always preach peace and defuse the tensions associated with the elections.
They also opined that religious leaders should encourage people to do the right thing and vote for whoever they choose, without intimidation, harassment or coercion.
Bishop John Daniels led other clergy to pray for the peace and prosperity of Nigeria and for the successful conduct of the 2023 elections.
They also prayed for Governor Lalong in his responsibilities as Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and CEO of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council.