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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

2023: Catholic Bishops Warns INEC, Police Others Over Manipulations



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By Okey Maduforo Awka

Ahead of the conduct of the Governorship and State Assembly elections across the country the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to ensure that all results are uploaded into its portal in order to ensure a credible fair and peaceful process.

The Conference further took a swipe on the Nigerian Police and other security agents over their failure to guarantee security of voters and the electoral officers during the Presidential and National Assembly elections contending that they should not allow a repeat of such brigandage in the next election.

According to the President Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria Arch Bishop Lucius Ugorji who spoke at the installation of the new Bishop and Canonical Erection of the Catholic Diocese of Aguleri he expressed dismay that the Commission failed to honour it’s promise of conducting a free fair and credible elections .

“We urge INEC to upload the results from the polling units to the portal in real time in order not to experience what happened in the last Presidential election where the Chairman of the Commission proceeded to publish the results without waiting for the results from the polling units”

“During that election the results were manipulated, and doctored a development that didn’t reflect the wishes and aspirations of the Nigerian voters who desired a new Nigeria”

“It was in the same election that thugs denied voters their rights to vote for their preferred candidates and were forced to vote for the candidates that are not their choice before the presence of the security operatives who failed to protect the voters and the electoral officials” he said.

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Ugorji urged Nigerians to come out as they did before to ensure that they cast their votes and make sure that their votes count in the Governorship and State Assembly elections.

Speaking during the Homilie the Catholic Papal Nuncio Anthony Guido Filipazzi said that what is significant about the new Diocese is that this was one of the Parishes that Blessed Fr Michael Iwene Tansi worked as a Priest adding that today his home Parish have become a Diocese.

He further noted that the personality of Tansi is one that has to do with spreading the gospel of Jesus’ ‘Christ as a priest adding that it got to the level of becoming a Monck and leaved the life of prayers .

Filipazzi admonished the members of the new Diocese to ensure that it doesn’t end as the only Diocese adding that their is no limit to service in God’s Vine Yard and that the gospel of Christ has been the spiritual driving force towards the continuous existence and survival of the church against all the challenges.

The new Bishop of Aguleri Diocese Rt Rev Dennis Chili Isiuzor noted that even though the Diocese appears Independent it would continue to rely on the assistance and guardians of the Onitsha Arch Diocese at all time urging the church to continue to help them when called upon.

Isiuzor further urged Anambra people to continue to support Gov Charles Soludo at all times warning that the state needs peace and not anything that would overheat the polity.

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Gov Charles Soludo in his remark noted that the day is indeed a mile stone in the life of his administration as it was on the 17th day of March last year that he was sworn in as governor of Anambra state.

“Today is unique in the sense that this marks my one year in office and it would go into history that during my one year in office Anambra state had a new Diocese as well as a new Cardinal”

“We have been able to make great inroad into the infrastructural development of Anambra state and we are still doing more in the area of restoring confidence in governance”

Soludo put paid to the rumors making the round that he is at daggers drawn with the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party when he invited h over to join him in saluting the people of Anambra state which Obi accepted.

“I am happy to have with us the first APGA governor and one of my predecessor and Presidential candidate of Labour Party Mr Peter Obi and please make way for him to join me in saluting the people of Anambra state”

“This is about the first time that we are meeting after the Presidential election and we are happy to have him in our midst as our brother and son of Anambra state” he said

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