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Apr 21, 2018


Christians have been urged to participate in the country’s politics armed with their faith to shape public policy so as to be salt and light of the world in the public sphere. The call was made by the Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria (CATHAN), in a communique issued at the end of its 33rd Annual Conference and Meeting held recently, at Domus Fidei, Ikeja, Lagos.

The theme of the conference was: The Christian Elections and Faithful Citizenship in a Plural Society; and the communique was signed by Rev. Dr. Raymond Aina, MSP and Rev. Dr. Victor Jamahh, President and Secretary of the association respectively.

Speaking on civic responsibility as a divine mandate, participants at the conference noted: “In carrying out our civic responsibility in a pluralist society, we are called to have a correct notion of the relationship between the political community and the Church and the distinct ways that Christians live out these relationships in the world.” These distinct ways according to them are: “When Christians act individually or collectively in their own name guided by the dictates of the Christian conscience and acting alongside pastors in carrying out their duties (Gaudium et Spes no 76).

On the country’s present political situation, the delegates noted that the country’s political processes are riddled with so many problems which include: violence, complicity of security agencies in electoral irregularities, nepotism, moral relativism, inadequate preparation for voting processes, indifference towards voting, buying of votes and false propaganda, among others.

The communique outlined the remedy for these problems, enjoining Christians to recognize their responsibilities by being patriotic and using their votes for the good of Nigeria as opposed to the good of a particular party, group or individual; and voting for candidates who are God fearing, accountable to the electorate for the common good in respect of right of family, property, freedom of religion, security, education and health.

The communique also urged the people to acquire their PVCs and vote for the right persons who are also honest and courageous in defending the truth and justice for all; as well as vote according to a well-informed conscience, without succumbing to pressure or unduly influence through bribes, threats and self-interest.

The communique also outlined the roles expected of the media, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to ensure justice equity, peace and security during electoral processes. Pointing out the relevance of the Catholic Social Teachings in respect of the subject matter, the communique concluded: “As Christians, we are people of hope and so we should not give in to despair but trust in Divine Providence to direct all of our affairs as we approach the forthcoming elections”.

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