The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned Nigerian political candidates vying for various positions, especially the presidency, to avoid desperate moves that could send the country on a descent into chaos during the 2019 general elections.
Backstory: While speaking to journalists, the president of the association, Reverend Samson Ayokunle, expressed disappointment over the desperation exhibited by some candidates ahead of the elections and stated that the elections need to be free and fair, or else the repercussions would affect everyone including the church.
This came after a closed door meeting between the association and representatives standing in for 14 presidential candidates, held in Abuja. The meeting was orchestrated according to Ayokunle to understand the plans these candidates have for Nigeria as well as remind them on the need for peace.
“We decided to reach out to the presidential candidates to ask them their credentials for aspiring to the highest office in the land. Also, to interrogate their plans for all including the church. We also brought them together to speak to their conscience so that they do not set this nation on fire,” Ayokunle said.
On the issue of the electoral act, he called on the executive and legislative arms of government to resolve their differences and ensure that the main motive behind every decision going further, is the success of the elections.
“The desperation we saw at the intra party elections gave us concern. If they can be so desperate and they end up fighting what will they do when they contest with opposition, the desperation is too much,” he said.
Bottom Line: Taking into consideration the 2015 general elections which was lauded both locally and by the international community for its peaceful coordination, Ayokunle stated that he had spoken to the president on the need for 2019 to follow its lead and be better.
“I once told Mr. President that when we conducted the 2015 elections, even the international community never expected it to be so free and fair, but the way the then administration conducted it gave us a sense of pride. If the 2019 election is not better, if the police are not well behaved, if the army is not better behaved, if INEC is not better behaved the entire election process might be a failure,” he said.