Nigerian Religious Leaders Hold Meeting to Call for Peaceful Elections
02/12/2019 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, along with the Archbishop of Jos, Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, Secretary General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam, held a roundtable event to discuss the upcoming elections and possible violence that could ensue. According to the Daily Trust, Ambassador Symington wanted to tell the people of Nigeria that “the beauty of democracy is that the citizens are the government, the governor is there temporarily, the citizens govern forever”. It is upon the people of Nigeria to hold their government and politicians to account for their failures and corruptions.
He continued by saying that “it was not enough for religious leaders to speak about peaceful elections but they must inspire non-violence through their actions.” After the 2011 elections, when Goodluck Jonathan Beat Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential campaigns, riots broke out across much of Northern Nigeria. During those riots, over 800 people were killed, and over 65,000 people were displaced.
There is fear that this election may have the same results if religious leaders, politicians and the people of Nigeria do not prepare and fight against it. The religious leaders from both Christian and Muslim organizations agreed with the Ambassadors sentiments. Rev. Ignatious Kaigama, said that “We must mind what we say and the actions we take. Our main concern is how politics should translate into good governance and positive social transformation; to liberate our people from the shackles of poverty, disease, insecurity and other social maladies.”
With the elections just 4 days away, it is more important than ever that the Nigerian people and their leadership work together to make this a peaceful election season.
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