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Elections: Bishop Umoren harps on voters’ education

By Dirisu Yakubu

Catholic Auxillary Archbishop of Abuja, the Most Reverend Dr. Anslem Umoren has called for adequate voter enlightenment to enable Nigerians choose their leaders wisely in future elections.

The clergyman gave this advice recently at the celebration of the 2019 Feast Day of Saint Patrick and Thanksgiving Mass, hosted by the Edo-Delta community of Saint Kelvin’s Catholic Church,  Jikwoyi,  Abuja.

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The Archbishop who counselled Nigerians to focus on the long term, also condemned the culture of vote buying, describing it as “a useless way of living. ”

He said: “We should prepare a little bit more than what we have done and we should try to change the mentality of Nigerians that we don’t live on short term.

“They should be doing things on long term and that should reflect who we elect to represent us. What criteria do we use to elect people, because this whole issue we are hearing of people using money to get votes is a useless way of living.

“But if Nigerians want it that way, they should know that they do not just have any future, they are not building a future. We must get beyond that and think of electing people who have the quality and who have shown it.”

He also warned of the dangers inherent in taking politicians’ pledges hook,  line and sinker,  adding that while promises were good, ability to deliver was even more better.

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He continued: “We don’t just elect people by what they say but by what they have done before, the precedence that they have. In that regards, we know they can do better.

“But if I have done nothing before and you elect me, what do you expect? Whatever I do is what I can do.

“So, we need to go beyond this childish way of living and acting and begin to take responsibility for our lives and the lives of our children in the future.”

Umoren also advised voters in states slated for supplementary governorship elections on March 23 to come out and vote for candidates of their choice, saying at the end of the day whatever decision they make is what they will leave within the next four years.

“So, people must make sure that whoever they will be comfortable with are the ones they elect,” he said.

On his part, Daniel Makava, President of Saint Patrick, South-South Catholic Community, Lady Queen of Martha, Catholic Church, Sabo- Lugbe, Abuja, counselled Christians to emulate St. Patrick in propagating the gospel, saying “The gospel in another light is love. God came to preach love, forgiveness and unity.

“If we are going by the work of St. Patrick which is tailored after Christ, we as Christians must show love to one another and see everybody around us as brothers and sisters. With that, we will have a better world to live in.”

Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, Vice Chancellor, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, who was guest speaker at the occasion, advised men to be alive to their responsibilities as the chief tenders of their homes and families.

The Don also advised women, as helpers to recognize that their role is to make their husbands better persons than they met them.

Speaking on “Tending the Garden” Onimawo said it required cooperation and understanding for couple to walk in faith together.

“Remember tending the garden requires removal of pests and diseases. These pest come in various forms. The man alone cannot remove the weeds and pests.

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“The weed and pests represent different temptations ranging from sickness, spiritual attacks, failures etc, and you need each other to fight these pests,” he said.

Highlight of the event was the cutting of the cake in honour of the Patron saint.

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