The Archbishop Emeritus, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie has urged Nigerians to vote according to their conscience in the 2019 general elections.
Okogie said in a statement on Tuesday that Nigerians should troop out to vote for credible leaders and shun any form of financial inducement or enticement by politicians that will mortgage their future.
The statement read: “Next year’s elections will be like a day when all debts owed Nigerians by politicians will have to be settled.
“All the promises made in 2015, all the posturings by politicians on both sides of the political aisle must be verified as kept or broken. Nigerians must vote according to their conscience.
“If there are politicians who have not kept their promise, if there are politicians leading our beloved country into perdition?
“Nigerians must consider if it would be in our interest and in the interest of Nigerians yet unborn to leave governance in the hands of such people,’’ he said in a statement.
Okogie urged Nigerians to hold every political office holder and contender to an uncompromisingly rigorous standard, saying : “This is not the time to vote on ethnic, religious or regional lines.
“This is the time to vote on past records of public service. Let us not cast our votes for those who have ruined, are ruining and will ruin this country.
“Beyond the deceitful and murderous pseudo-statesmen, Nigeria deserves the best. So, we must discard the stubborn myth that any politician is indispensable.
“This country, richly blessed, has competent and wise persons who can navigate her out of the embarrassingly dubious distinction of the poorest rich nation on earth,’’ he added.
Okogie who wondered how politicians pretend to profess their love for God and for the country, said that they only do it for their own selfish interests.
“Almost all our politicians profess belief in God. But just as they pretend to love Nigeria, they pretend to love God, treating God with contempt by treating Nigerians with contempt.
“They have no regard for morality; they pretend to love each other, they have neither permanent friends nor permanent enemies but permanent interests.
“Their membership of political parties is contingent on their selfish interests. That is why, whether or not they decamp does not affect the price of garri in the market,’’ he said.
Okogie who condemned the killings by Boko Haram and herdsmen, urged the Federal Government to bring the perpetrators to book.
“We have also seen how Nigerians in the states of the middle belt are slaughtered by armed herdsmen.
“While the issues of Boko Haram and murderous herdsmen are yet to be given the attention they deserve, making refugees of some Nigerians on their homeland.
“We continue to read disturbing news of importation of arms to Nigeria. Previous importations have come and gone without any conviction or sanction.
“We ask, `who are those importing arms into Nigeria? ‘ Are they ghosts? What is government doing about them? Why is it that some Nigerians kill other Nigerians with impunity,’’ the cleric asked.