By Victoria Ojeme
As Nigeria gears up for the 2011 general election, the Papal Pro Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, weekend, said he was praying for Nigeria to have free and fair elections.
This came as the Arch-Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Abuja and immediate past president of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Bishop John Onaiyakan, called on the Federal Government to thoroughly investigate the shipment of illegal arms and drugs into Nigeria from Iran.
Both clerics spoke at the 2nd national conference of Papal Knights and Medalists in Nigeria
Kasujja called on Nigerians to prepare themselves for the forthcoming elections, saying “I am urging Nigerians to prepare themselves for the elections. I think the parties are already organising themselves to know who will be the candidate.
“I always pray that this election will be very democratic, peaceful and may be the expression of the people.”
Speaking earlier Bishop Onaiyakan, expressed concern at the importation of illegal arms and drug from Iran at the crucial time of preparation for the 2011 general elections, calling on the Federal Government to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the incidences to avert future occurrence.
He also disagreed with suggestions by the Iranian government that the matter had been resolved, insisting that the perpetrators should be fished out and prosecuted according to the laws of the land.
The former CAN President also expressed concern about the rising level of crime in the country, and called on the government to muster enough political will to tackle the problem head-on.
“There is no country where there are no criminal elements. We want a nation where criminals are not given free hand to do what they like, where the laws apply, where those who have done wrong are punished.
“If you are talking of criminals, please don’t think only of the armed robbers and kidnappers of persons, talk about those who are mishandling our economy, those creating stress on our nation in such a way that the poor are left with inadequate care,” he said.
In his remark, the Chairman, Steering Committee of Papal Knights and Medalists in Nigeria, Dr Brendan Nkanang, said there were about 250 Papal Knights and Medalists in Nigeria, saying their coming together was necessitated by the need to push the Catholic programme forward in Nigeria with a combined force.