Catholic Bishops in Nigeria Commend President for Electoral Reforms Ahead of Feb. Polls

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) with President Muhammadu Buhari. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for electoral reforms ahead of the elections slated for February 25.

In a Wednesday, January 11 message that was delivered by CBCN President, Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, during their visit to State House, Catholic Bishops in Nigeria said that the reforms will make the electoral system “more stable and fair”.

“We commend and congratulate you for the efforts the government has put into ensuring real improvement in our electoral system and processes, especially your signing into law the electoral bill,” Archbishop Ugorji says in a report by Arise News.

Archbishop Ugorji is said to have urged the President to ensure that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and those of “other relevant government agencies” deliver credible elections.

“Please do not relent in making sure that INEC and other relevant government agencies carry out their serious duties to conduct peaceful, free, fair, and credible elections,” the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Owerri Archdiocese said. 


He further told the president of the West African nation that the Catholic Bishops want him to use his remaining months in office to address the challenges affecting the country including insecurity.

“The main crux of our message to you today is one of fervent appeal and strong encouragement. Your tenure of two terms as President, Commander-In-Chief of Nigeria, is drawing to an end. We believe a lot can be done to turn things around for the better in the about four months left of your presidency before you step down in May 2023,” the President of CBCN said.

He added, “We have seen some signs that the government is not entirely incapable of tackling the sad state of insecurity in the land, which has consumed thousands of innocent Nigerians across all religions, creeds, and ethnic groups.”

On his part, President Buhari is said to have acknowledged with appreciation the observations made by the Catholic Bishops, recognizing the need to address the security challenge.

“I am very grateful for your visit to the Presidential Villa, and I agree with you on some of the observations you have made,” President Buhari said, adding, “The question of insecurity is most important to us because unless a country or institution is at peace, it will be difficult to manage.”

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The Nigerian President made reference to his visits to Adamawa and Yobe States, saying, “I listened carefully to what the people and officials had to say. And they all said the situation had improved since 2015, especially in Borno State.”

He continued, “Boko Haram was just fraudulent and a plot to destroy Nigeria. You can’t say people should not learn; the people need to grow intellectually.”

President Buhari also assured CBCN members that his government will not relent in infrastructural development, especially in areas affected by terrorism.

Reflecting on his experience in the country’s history since 1967, the 80-year-old Head of State said that there is need to thank God for everything that has unfolded over all the years.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.