“Join in fervent prayer for credible, violence-free elections”: Archbishop in Nigeria

Credit: Nsukka Diocese

Nigerians have been urged to seek divine intervention in “fervent prayer for credible and violence-free elections”.

In a Friday, February 24 message published on Facebook, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama  of Abuja Archdiocese in Nigeria expresses optimism that the Saturday, February 25 general elections in Nigerian "will turn out well and the results will be accepted without bitterness or hostilities."

“Please, join in fervent prayer for credible and violence-free elections - the results to be accepted with great understanding and calm, so that a more peaceful, more united, and a new and greater Nigeria will emerge,” Archbishop Kaigama says in the message issued after a meeting with United Nations team in his office. 

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop adds, “Please, no one should trigger any violence during the elections.”

Archbishop Kaigama also calls on officials of various Nigerian institutions involved in managing the polls to handle the polls with care.


“I plead in the name of God that election officials, security officials, the judiciary, and all those involved directly or indirectly with the elections will not allow themselves to be compromised,” says the Catholic Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in April 1995 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese. 

Nigerian voters are expected to vote for their President, Vice President, members of the Senate, and House of Representatives on February 25. The 2023 gubernatorial elections are to take place on March 11.

The elections are coming at a time when Nigerians are experiencing insecurity ranging from terrorist attacks to kidnapping and economical challenges that include that of redesigning the local currency, the Naira, and its circulation.  

For the first time since 1999 when Africa’s most populous nation returned to democratic rule, none of the presidential candidates in the February 25 polls is a former military leader or a sitting president. 

Last month, Catholic Bishops in Lagos Ecclesiastical Province said the elections present an opportunity for Nigerians to turn a new leaf

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The Catholic Bishops of Lagos Archdiocese, Abeokuta, and Ijebu-Ode Dioceses said that while the elections are likely to be the most contentious in the history of Nigeria, they provide a “unique opportunity” for leaders capable of making a difference. 

The 2023 general elections “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,” they said in their January 25 statement.

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.