Vote-buying endangers Nigeria’s future —Umoren
The Auxiliary Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese Diocese of Abuja, Most Rev. Anslem Umoren, has praised the virtues of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of St. Patrick Edo/Delta Catholic Community in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Presiding over the 2019 Feast Day celebration of the community hosted by St. Kevin’s Catholic Church, Jikwoyi, Abuja, he pointed out that St Patrick was an important figure in the church, an epitome of how Christians should love their neighbors including those who hate them.
He added: “That is the trademark of Christianity. It is not just to love those who love us. And Jesus said that if you do that, there is no different between you and pagans, beacaue even the pagans do as much of that. They care for those who care for them. You give something and I give to you.
“But for Christians we must go beyond that to love who we sometimes have the perception that they do not love us.
“Even if it is a reality that they do not love us, we are still called to love them because God loves us even though we still fell in things that we should not. So, Saint Patrick is an example in that regards.”
The clergyman also admonished politicians to desist from vote-buying as such habit leaves the country with no future.
He advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be better prepared for the conduct of future elections to avoid the pitfalls witnessed in the recent exercise.
While harping on the need for the commission to do better, he described as “useless way” the use of money by politicians to secure votes.
Most Rev. Umoren stated: “I am not INEC. So, I cannot give you review of general elections but maybe we should prepare a little bit more than what we have done, try to change mentality of Nigerians that we don’t live on short term.
“They should be things on long term and that should reflect who we elect to represent us. What criteria do we use to elect people, because this whole issue we are hearing of people using money to get vote, that is a useless way of living and if Nigerians want it that way, they should no that they do jot have any future, they are not building a future.
“We must get beyond that and think of electing people who have the quality and who have shown it. We don’t just elect people by what they say but by what they have done before, they have precedence”.
“But if I have not done nothing before and you elect me, what do you expect?
Whatever I do is what I can do. So, we need to go beyond this childish way of living and acting and begin to take responsibility for our lives and the lives of our children on the future.”
The archbishop stressed that people must vote for whoever can provide them good representation rather than for a candidate they would be forced to put up with for another four years no matter how bad he/she might be.
He said: “We don’t have that (supplementary elections) in Abuja but wherever they have, we call on people to go out and vote for whoever they want to represent them.
“At the end of the day, whatever decision you make is what you will leave with in the next four years.
“So, people must make sure that whoever they will be comfortable with are the ones they elect.”
The Vice-Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, Professor Ignatius Onimawo, who was guest speaker at the occasion, spoke on the need for husbands to show leadership in their homes.