2023 Election: We’re hoping the judiciary will rescue our democracy — Catholic bishops
Catholic Bishops have appealed to the Judiciary to save the Nigeria’s ailing democratic Experiment, stating that all eyes are now on them to remedy the flawed 2023 general elections.
The Bishops of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province who met in Umuahia, Abia State, expressed disappointment in the Independent Electoral Commission INEC for failing to live up to its promise to deliver a credible poll.
In a communiqué issued after their meeting at Umuahia Diocesan Secretariat, the Bishops urged the Judiciary to redeem the situation in the interest of Nigeria’s democracy.
“The hope, at the moment is that the judiciary will rise up to the challenge and rescue our ailing democratic experiment”, the communique stated.
”Many people had trusted the repeated assurances by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deliver a credible electoral process.
Namely, to come up with an impartial standard for screening candidates, to organize the logistics for conducting free and fair elections, to transmit voting results electronically from polling stations in real time, to eliminate cases of ballot stuffing and vote stealing, etc.
“Sadly, the electoral process was riddled by irregularities.
INEC and some of the political actors dashed the hopes of our people.
“Consequently, the results of the last elections can hardly be considered as reflecting the overall will of the people, and are still being contested.
And this continues to darken the cloud of uncertainty and tension that has enveloped the nation.”
“The ugly sight of our people toiling under excruciating economic conditions is not only frightening but heartbreaking.
The Bishops further condemned the incessant sit-at-home in the South East and it’s attendant negative effect on the economy of the zone.
“We can no longer close our eyes to the indiscriminate sit-at-home orders in the South-East that have so far disrupted lives, paralyzing economic, educational and commercial activities. In the past we had called on our people to sheathe their swords and come together to agree on the way forward for our region.
“We want to repeat this appeal again with more urgency. The resort to violence can never be condoned, nor can it be expected to bring any lasting solution to the needs of our people. The South-East is extolled as the commercial hub of the nation.
“We however, appealed to Nigerians not to give up but to keep hope alive for a better future”. The Bishops stated
“As your spiritual leaders, we still call upon all the good-willed and patriotic citizens of Nigeria to continue to work for the common good of all Nigerians on that same note of equity, justice and peace.