The chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum and Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has said the antecedents of prominent candidates in the forthcoming presidential election should be the evidence of their capacity to lead the country.
He charged Nigerians to keep the debate on equity and justice alive for peace to reign in the land
He added that the south must produce the next president in the spirit of equity and fairness.
The governor spoke on Friday at the 16th Jesus Festival Dinner of the Ibadan Anglican Diocese held at the Ibadan Civic Centre, Agodi, Ibadan, as the Chairman of the occasion.
Mr Akeredolu had been at the vanguard of the campaign for a southern presidency. His call for state police and arming Amotekun, the regional security network, had also been controversial.
The governor is a member of the APC and solidly backs the party’s presidential flag bearer, Bola Tinubu.
He noted that competence and integrity should be the criteria for representation, and stressed that the recent debate on representation on account of faith is most unnecessary.
”As Christians, we must not only be prayerful. It is important that we adopt proactive measures in our bid to protect ourselves against any evil design. We must be vigilant and ready to challenge all actions which threaten to relegate our collective interest to the background,” he said in a vague reference to the controversies of the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“In the same vein, we must be wary of the antics of the cunning and deceitful who may wish to exploit the challenges to advance their destructive designs.
“In as much as we encourage full participation of Christians in politics, our involvement must not be used to create disaffection among the various ethnic and religious groups in the country. We must resist the attempts by some elements to use religion to perpetuate crisis.
“Christians are yet to come together to elect representatives who must vie for political offices. Any individual aspiring to serve in any capacity should project his or her strength of character rather than hide under an omnibus but clearly dubious forum to appropriate our collective rights for personal consideration.
“The recent debate on representation on account of faith is most unnecessary. Competence and integrity should be the criteria for representation.
“All those who do not wish to be ruled by persons of dubious character should endeavour to be active in the days ahead. Let all those with their PVCs vote for candidates of their choice. All candidates should be put to the strictest proof of their claims.
“Anyone who exhibits any shred of doubt should be rejected roundly. The antecedents of prominent candidates in the forthcoming presidential elections, and even all elections, should be evidence of capacity. The manifesto belongs, largely, to the party.
“We must do more than criticism in the next elections or be ready to be ruled by those with no enviable pedigree. We must participate or be damned.
“We must tell all self-appointed spokespersons of the Christian faith to leave partisan politics for the practitioners and concentrate on the works for which they are called or appointed.”
ALSO READ: 2023: PDP accuses Akeredolu of disrupting party’s rally in Ondo
He further said there was a pervasive feeling of improvement in the electoral process, saying that the country could still do better than what is obtainable now.
“We are at a point where all of us must resolve to take more than a passing interest in what affects our general interest as citizens of the country,” he said.
“We must resist the temptation to stand aloof while others determine our collective destiny as a people. We must keep the debate on equity and justice alive for peace to reign in the land.”
Earlier in his exhortation, the Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, J.O Akinfenwa, congratulated Governor Akeredolu on his recent national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger, describing it as well deserved.
He noted the governor’s numerous roles to make life better for the needy, especially by promoting adequate security for their lives and property.
The cleric encouraged Nigerians to be vigilant and select credible leaders during the fast-approaching election, urging more prayers for the nation.
At the event were some members of the state executive council and APC candidates.
Among Nigeria’s numerous national challenges, which do you think the next president should focus on first?
— Premium Times (@PremiumTimesng) October 5, 2022
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