Elections Could Offer Nigerians “new lease of life”, Bishops Say, Urge Mass Voting

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Catholic Bishops in Lagos Ecclesiastical Province are calling on Nigeria’s to turn up in their numbers during the February 25 general elections, saying the polls are an opportunity for Nigerians to turn a new leaf. 

In a Wednesday, January 25 statement, the Catholic Bishops also say the polls present an opportunity for voters to elect leaders who are capable of putting the socio-economic and political dynamics of the country in order. 

“We call on all eligible voters to ensure that they obtain their PVCs (Permanent Voters Card) and come out en-masse to cast their votes,” the Catholic Bishops of Lagos Archdiocese, Abeokuta, and Ijebu-Ode Dioceses say.

They say that while the elections are likely to be the most contentious in the history of Nigeria, “they offer another unique opportunity for all eligible citizens of this great country to rise to their civic responsibility by going out to vote for credible leaders with the capacity and competence to re-order the socio-economic and political dynamics of our nation so that Nigerians can indeed have a new lease of life.”

The Catholic Bishops urge Nigerians to set aside ethnic, religious, and political biases “to vote in only the candidates who are most qualified to take our country along the path of true growth and development.”


Nigeria’s Presidential and National elections are expected to happen on February 25 while the gubernatorial polls have been scheduled for March 11. 

In their statement signed by Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos Archdiocese and Bishop Francis Adesina of Ijebu-Ode Diocese, the Catholic Church leaders also emphasize the need for peace before, during, and after the elections. 

They say political candidates in the country seem to be going against the terms of the 2022 peace accord in which they committed to maintaining harmony during the electioneering period.

"We note with regret that some of them appear not to be adhering to the terms of the peace accord that they signed, given the rising cases of politically motivated violence across the country," they say.

If left unchecked, the Catholic Bishops say, political candidates "are capable of truncating the electoral process."

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"We, therefore, appeal to leaders of all the political parties to honor the agreement that they signed by prevailing on their supporters to refrain from violence and all forms of political thuggery, and adhere strictly to the provisions of the newly enacted Electoral Act," they say.

The Catholic Bishops in Lagos Ecclesiastical Province also urge law enforcement officers and officials of other government agencies in Nigeria to "work assiduously and impartially to ensure that peace prevails in the country before, during, and after the electoral processes."

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.