By Etop Ekanem & Stanley Okoro
THE Archbishop of Lagos,Anthony Cardinal Okogie, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to implement the Justice Mohammed Uwais-led report on electoral reforms, adding that credible elections have eluded this country for long.
Addressing newsmen yesterday at St Matthewâ€™s Catholic Church, Amukoko, Lagos, as part of his pastoral visit to Apapa Deanery, Okogie said President Jonathan must insist that â€œthe report should hold sway in the country.
He must tell the National Assembly that no other law guiding elections should be applied, only the electoral reform as propagated by the Uwais report. Once he can bequeath it to Nigerians, he will be taken as an â€˜elderly statesmanâ€™Â Â in this country. The 2011 election is crucial for us, so it should be taken seriously by all.â€
On the epileptic power supply in the country, the Archbishop of Metropolitan See of Lagos urged Jonathan to tackle the problem head-long and â€œgive Nigerians electricity, which is the backbone of industries in Nigeria.
Without electricity, not even pure water can be produced. If the President can ensure that electricity is generated during the few months he has to do things, he will endear himself to the citizens.â€
The cleric also took a look at the Niger Delta issue and urged the Federal Government to immediately put in place the Post Amnesty Programme which the late President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua put in place.
According to him, â€œthere is no going back on it. The employment, education in the area, especially the social infrastructure, development strategies, etc. must be put in place for the people of this area because they have been denied these amenities, oppressed and marginalised for too long. The people of this area have a right to live. I had stated some years back that if the Federal Government killed the golden goose that lays the golden egg, there will be no goose to lay the eggs again to share.â€
On how peace can be achieved in Nigeria, Okogie said: We can achieve peace in Nigeria with everybody playing his/her roles, where we elect for peaceful initiatives and obeying the laws of the land. Where there is peace, God is. We have to make peace without limitations. But peace is not made at the council tables or by treaties but in the hearts of people.
Without truth, peace is poison. peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. A bad peace is better than a good war.â€