Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

With Buhari poised to win re-election, Nigerian bishops continue call for credibility

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
2/27/2019 (8 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Nigeria is in the midst of counting votes cast in a contentious general election, and Catholic bishops are urging the nation's leaders to conduct a credible and transparent vote, while at the same time the bishops closely observe the election process.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/27/2019 (8 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Buhari poised, re-election, Nigerian bishops


Abuja, Nigeria, (CNA) - A week before the elections were supposed to take place, the bishops called for all Nigerians to pray and fast for the success of the elections.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria announced Feb. 25 that Caritas Nigeria, in collaboration with the Nigerian Justice Development and Peace Commissions, had set up a "Situation Room" to collect observations and reports about the elections from diocese across the country.

The general election, during which Nigerians voted for a presidential candidate as well as for the Senate and House of Representatives, was originally scheduled for Feb. 16 but was delayed at the last minute until Feb. 23. Catholic Action Nigeria said at the time that the delay placed a burden on citizens, especially those who underwent difficult travels to vote.

The Independent National Electoral Commission is still counting votes. Incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari has the lead as of Feb. 26, having won 13 of Nigeria's 36 states, according to the BBC. His opponent, Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), has won 11 states and the capital, Abuja. Uche Secondus, chairman of Abubakar's party, has alleged that there have been irregularities in the election.

According to the Nigerian bishops' conference, the Church has "actively engaged 3,823 accredited Observers, and 9,000 Citizen Observers to enhance data collection and collation" during elections. Father Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi, Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, signed the Feb. 25 report.

The bishops observed that voting at many polling places commenced very late. Some polling places experienced attacks from suspected Boko Haram militants; a 19-year-old man was killed at a polling place in the north-central region of the country. There were also some instances of people attempting to steal ballot boxes and technical problems with electronic card readers used to identify voters.

Some areas saw a low voter turnout a because security fears. In one area, armed men reportedly hijacked voting materials and abducted officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and other officials. In at least two areas, armed men gunned a number of people down at the polls and "snatched ballot boxes." In Lagos state, the bishops report that cast votes were burnt and voters were "chased by suspected thugs."

The bishops also said their observers noted cases of buying and selling votes in at least ten states across the country.

"The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria is grateful to all Nigerians for their resilience and admonishes [the Independent National Electoral Commission] to improve on the electoral systems and processes for the purposes of credible and transparent future elections in Nigeria," the report concludes.

The Nigerian bishops' conference had released a Jan. 19 statement ahead of the election after meeting at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Lagos, Nigeria, specifically warning against illegal voting practices such as buying or selling votes.

"Being an election year, 2019 appears delicate; we call on Nigerians to carry out their civic responsibilities with diligence and patriotism," the statement read, according to Pulse Nigeria.

"Nigerians should see the election as a duty to enthrone good leadership, and no amount of financial inducement should sway us."

Nigeria became a democracy in 1999 and is Africa's most populous nation, with the continent's largest economy, but has for years faced attacks and kidnappings by the radial Islamist group Boko Haram. Last year, the militants burned 22 buildings, including a part of the Catechetical Training Centre in Kaya.


Comments


More Middle East

United Arab Emirates pledges to help rebuild Catholic churches in Mosul Watch

Image of Brother Nicolas Tixier speaks at the signing of an agreement between the UAE and UNESCO

The United Arab Emirates is partnering with UNESCO to rebuild two Catholic churches in Mosul that were destroyed in 2014 by the Islamic ... continue reading


Bishops in Middle East urge prayer for northern Syria Watch

Image of Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ras al Ayn during the Turkish offensive against Kurdish groups in northeastern Syria Oct. 17 2019 as seen from Turkey.

Bishops in Syria and Iraq have called for worldwide prayer as fighting between Turkish and Kurdish forces further destabilizes northern ... continue reading



Moroccan king pardons woman who procured abortion, those who participated Watch

Image of Dr. Mohammed Jamal Belkeziz leaves the prison in Sale Oct 16 2019. He was pardoned after being sentenced to two years imprisonment for performing an abortion.

Morocco's king pardoned Wednesday a journalist, her fiance, and the medical team who last month were found guilty of procuring and ... continue reading


Syrian Christians face new threat from Turkey, human rights group warns Watch

Image of

Endangered Christian populations in the Middle East face renewed risks as the United States removes troops from Syria, a leading human ... continue reading


How a Palestinian village sheds light on the drama of Christians in the Holy Land Watch

Image of

Jifna is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, just 5 miles north of Ramallah - the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority - and ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.