“Strengthen our confidence”: Christian Leaders in Nigerian State to Electoral Body

Credit: Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)/Facebook

Representatives of Christian leaders in Nigeria’s Adamawa state are calling on the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the West African nation to foster “openness, transparency and fairness” in their working in view of strengthening the confidence of the electorate in them.

In a Sunday, March 26 statement, members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Adamawa State make reference to the gubernatorial re-run polls that have been scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 29.

Nigeria’s INEC reportedly declared the March 18 gubernatorial polls in Adamawa State “inconclusive” following what the electoral body referred to as “a margin of votes recorded in the election by the contestants.”

In the March 26 statement, CAN members in Adamawa State say the confidence of the people in INEC was compromised following the February 25 disputed presidential polls in which the electoral body was accused of fraud.

“As we remain prayerful and hopeful that all shall be well, we still pray that INEC will strengthen our confidence in them through their openness, transparency and fairness,” CAN officials say in the statement signed by CAN Chairman in Adamawa State, Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza of the Catholic Diocese of Yola.


They challenge the electorate to give INEC officials the benefit of the doubt as they work towards strengthening the confidence in the electoral body ahead of the planned re-run.

“We call on all to remain calm and to renew their confidence in INEC’s independence and professionalism for openness, transparency, and fairness in the handling of the votes of the electorates as we set to go for a re-run,” the Christian leaders say.

CAN members in the Nigerian State express optimism “that the entire electoral process will be credible and thus respect the will of the people of Adamawa State.”

The leaders of the Christian entity which includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) also call for concerted efforts to ensure the March 29 re-run poll is credible and peaceful.

They advocate for a collaborative approach in the realization of elections, saying, “We the electorates, members of the diplomatic community, local, national and international observers, law enforcement agencies and the media, are all stakeholders in whatever it takes to have good, fair, credible and peaceful elections.”

More in Africa

In the March 26 statement, the Christian leaders caution against infringing on the independence of INEC, adding that such a move will “pose a risk to public safety.”

CAN members urge the media and law enforcers to shun “institutional pressure” that might drive them to execute their duties in a partisan way.

“We are calling with a strong voice on both the law enforcement agencies and the media not to allow institutional pressure and interference affect them as they try to give an unbiased and extensive security coverage of the process of voting, collation and tabulation of results,” they say.

The Christian leaders in the Nigerian State also “appeal to politicians to keep all political activity and exchange civil so as to enable an atmosphere of tolerance and respect to flourish in the state.”

They further urge Nigerians, especially community and religious leaders and the youth, to continue to be law-abiding citizens as they wait for the March 29 polls.


In the March 18 gubernatorial polls that were declared inconclusive, the incumbent governor of Adamawa State and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Fintiri, had garnered 421,524 votes against the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Senator Aishatu Dahiru, who earned 390,275 votes.

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.