By Sam Eyoboka
WHILE about 84 million Nigerians were said to have registered for this year’s general elections, about 2.4 million Christians have opted out of the exercise despite pleas from differ-ent quarters for them to troop out to exercise their civic responsibility.
Over 239,104 members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church across the coun-try, will be in church while the rest of the nation will queue in polling units nearest to them to elect a presidential candidate of their choice.
“We worship on Saturdays, not for personal reasons but Biblical, which are founded in the Scriptures and dates back to creat-ion. We believe that Sabb-ath is a Holy Day and should not be used for any personal, civic or public business,” the church sta-ted emphatically in its web-site.
The president of the church in Nigeria, Pastor Oyeleke Owolabi has been appealing to the Indepen-dent National Electoral Co-mmision, INEC, to stop conducting elections on Saturday because the church believes that the true day of worship is Saturday and it must pre-served for the Lord.
He expressed displeasure on how his members were being disenfranchised during successive elect-ions in the country and how the church has written several letters to INEC on the need to shift elections from Saturday.
While members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church are being const-rained because they re-gard Saturday as a sacred day that must be so treat-ed, the Jehovah’s Witness-es have actually been for-bidden from every elect-oral process because hu-man elections are satanic and contrary to God’s injunction.
Our checks show that over 195,875,000 Nigerians belong to this sect celled in 6,547 congregations across Nigeria.
One controvertial doctri-ne of the Jehovah’s Wit-nesses is that they do not salute the flag or sing the National Anthem because they pledge their allegian-ce only to God.
Similarly, Jehovah’s Wit-nesses do not commonly advocate fhese beliefs in the political sphere as the denomination teaches that its members should remain politically neutral and abstain from voting or participating in “any action to change governments.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses re-main politically neutral for relgious reasons, based on what the Bible teaches.
“We do not lobby, voter for political parties or can-didates, run for govern-ment office, or participate in any action to change governmentd. We believe that the Bible gives solid reasons for following this course,” a statement from its website explained, maintaining, however, that they respect the authority of governments under which they live.
“Although we do not take part in politics, we res-pect the authority of the governments under which we live. This is harmony with the Bible’s command: “Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities.”