Cardinal Onaiyekan Condemns Violence During 2019 Elections
Cardinal John Onaiyekan

Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has condemned the violence that took place during the 2019 general elections.

According to him, the elections were supposed to offer opportunity for Nigerians to choose those who would serve them and not a battlefield for warriors fighting to capture power, conquer territory and people.

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Onaiyekan made the remark in a homily at mass of the 1st Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and the Dedication of St Gabriel Chapel Building at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Durumi, Abuja, on Monday, reports NAN.

”Elections are supposed to be an opportunity for us to choose those who will serve us. In many cases, it has been turned into battlefield for warriors fighting to capture power and conquer territory and people.

”No wonder it has become such a do or die and winner takes it all.

“No wonder the process has been militarised, with armed thugs engaging our security forces, who in their turn are rarely able to be as fair and professional as they claim to be. No wonder votes often no longer count.

”When this happens, it is not only the losing contestant who alleges fraud. More significantly, it is the people, the voter, who is denied the once in four years opportunity to choose who will serve us as political leaders.

”If the name of the political game does not change from domination to service, elections will continue to be problematic and the nation will continue to stagnate,” Onaiyekan said.

The cleric who is a member of the national peace committee led by former military leader Abdulsalami Abubakar, however, charged those who won in the elections to always discharge their duties, having in mind that power belongs to God alone and He would demand accountability on how power is used.