By Emma Una
CALABAR- THE Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, in Cross River State has declared its preparedness to stand by the directives of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, with regard to how to vote in the 2023 elections.
Dr Lawrence Ekwok , Chairman of the Fellowship in the state who spoke on Tuesday at the end of a two-day Greater Nigeria Project campaign organised by the Fellowship in the state stressed that CAN is the umbrella body of all christian organisations in the country and its directives on the 2023 election have been adopted by national leadership of PFN and Cross River stands by those directives.
” CAN which has the overall powers over the five christian blocks in the country has taken a position as to who every christian should vote and they came out with guidelines which have been distributed to all our members in the state in the churches through their pastors and we are following those guidelines”
Ekwok said Dr Cosmos Ilechukwu, the National Secretary of PFN who represented the National Chairman of CAN at the Greater Nigeria Project campaign in the state took time to enlighten the PFN members on the direction of the organisation and he believes the message was clear and well received.
“Dr Ilechukwu spent time to speak with the people to let them know that the church is in a position to decide who is to be elected in 2023 and I believe more people have a clear understanding now that the church has more role to play beyound just praying
“The Bible commands us to pray for our leaders and beyound praying the church must participate in the governance process by getting involved in electioneering process and participating actively themselves and there is nothing wrong in anybody seeking to represent his people”
The PFN Chairman stated that the benchmark for consideration for those the church would support in 2023 is anchored on integrity, one who would not discriminate, someone with the fear of God and members are allowed to investigate and look critically at those who meet the criteria set by CAN and vote for them.
Prof Kyrian Ojong, Chairman of the planning committee for Greater Nigeria Project in Cross River stated that in the past a lot of church members detached themselves from politics because of the way the game was played but recent events in the country have brought them back and mobilisation is ongoing for over one million church members. to vote in the state during the 2023 election in support of their preferred candidates.
“I thank God for the introduction of B- Vas now which has come to stop the struggle for ballot boxes by politicians which made the game a do or die thing but with the reality of what we see on ground today characterised by bad governance, insensitivity by leaders do we are tired of praying and people countering the purpose of God for the country, we have to participate fully”
He said the Greater Nigeria Project has given national christian leaders the opportunity to explain the purpose and role of christians in politics and the messages are being well received across the country.
“Let me tell us, if people who are not God fearing are ninety percent in an executive council of a state, that council will not act with the fear of God but if you have fifty percent of people who are God fearing in that council, there is a high chance that the council will take decisions which are for the benefit of majority of the population not just for their personal interest”