February 4, 2023

Polls: Vote trustworthy leaders, Interfaith group advises Nigerians


By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

With exactly three weeks to the 2023 presidential election, Christian and Muslim clerics, under the aegis of Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, on Friday, warned Nigerians to elect only leaders with the right mental and moral qualities required to steer the nation out of the woods.

The Forum also called on Nigerians to reject every form of financial and material inducements for their votes.

IDFP, which is made of 120 Christian and Muslim leaders across Nigeria, explained that competence, character and capacity should be the defining qualities of good leadership.

The Forum also urged adherents of both religions to safeguard the elections by ensuring that matters are not exaggerated; stressing that reactions to ethnic tensions should be proportional to the issues at hand so that peace would reign at every point.

These were contained in a communique jointly signed by the co-chairs of the faith-based organisation, Dr. Yusuf Arrigasiyu (Muslim) and Rev. Amos Kiri (Christian) and presented to newsmen at the end of a two-day meeting in Abuja.

The communique reads in part, “IDFP urges Nigerians to vote for candidates based on character, competence and capacity during elections for a progressive and peaceful Nigeria.

“We should work together to ensure that all voters are empowered with enough information the will enable make wise choices and know the implications of letting their voices be heard.

“We should all do everything to prevent issues and situations that would polarize instead of leading to a consensus. Even if those things mattered to us in the past, we should de-emphasize them now for the sake of peace.

“We must stand to safeguard the forth-coming election in the context of ethno-religious sentiments by providing support and protection for those who are likely to be in the greatest need of assistance, particularly people living with disabilities.”

IDFP also called on religious leaders to preach peace and not divisions and hatred.