The Chairman Kaduna State Peace Commission (KAPECOM), Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has urged religious leaders to see themselves as instruments of unity and not allow their personal preferences to get better of them in relating with the public.
Bishop Idowu-Fearon was reacting to a statement credited to the General Overseer of Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, that, ‘the number of people who vote for APC in 2023 will determine the number of mad people in Nigeria’.
Bishop Fearon stated that it is wrong for any religious leader to tell his congregation to vote for any particular party, because every congregation consist of people with different political views, as democracy is about freedom of choice.
He spoke on the sideline of a meeting of political parties, candidates and stakeholders for peaceful campaigns and elections in Kaduna State, where 18 registered political parties, 14 Governorship candidates and candidates for National Assembly and state House of Assembly signed peace accord.
The event was organized by KAPRCOM with support from Hope Action Progress, Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) ActionAid, Christian Aid, Global Community Engagement and Resilient Fund (GCERF), SARVE and Global Peace Development (GPD).
The Anglican Bishop noted with dismay that, Nigerian religious leaders now wants to be seen as rulers, a situation he said is not helping the country and its democratic processes.
He said Nigerians must be allowed to vote their choices regardless of religion and tribe, adding that, “let candidates manifestoes and competence speak for them and not their religion or tribe.
“Religious leaders are part of the political problems we have in this country. Some of them want to be rulers which is a wrong concept bringing about unnecessary sentiments”.