By Marok Nuhu Haruna
The Catholic Bishops in Nigeria has called on the federal government and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to address the reported cases of under-aged persons’ registration for electioneering purposes and ongoing killings all the country.
The Clerics operating under the aegis of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) urged the federal government and the electoral body to urgently do something about the issue.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its first plenary meeting of the year held in Abuja, the CBCN also lamented the claim that some eligible Nigerians were unable to register to vote due to
unavailability of facilities.
The Clerics in the communiqué jointly signed by the Archbishop of Jos, Most Reverend Ignatius Ayau Kaigama (President) and the Bishop of Ikot-Ekpene, Most Reverend Camillus Raymond Umoh, Assistant Secretary, said, “We hear of the registration of under aged persons. It is quite unfortunate that our young people allow themselves to be used as canon fodders in electoral malpractices.
“Government and especially INEC, should address these serious lapses with utmost urgency and without discrimination and bias.”
The Bishops said they learnt that the inability of some eligible
Nigerians to get registered was pronounced in certain parts of the country and therefore charged INEC to tackle the anomaly.
They said: “Reports reaching us from all over the nation indicate that in many places facilities for registration are not available, thus depriving many people of the right to register for voting. It is equally reported that such difficulty in registration often target certain segments of the community.”
In the document entitled “…That They May Have Life and Have it More Abundantly (John 10:10”, the clerics said recent events in the country gave cause for concern with regards to what they said were “political assassinations, killing for ritual purposes and frequent mass murder of harmless, innocent and defenseless citizens.”
They added that, “recent happenings in Nigeria give cause for grave concern and worry. The wave of political assassinations, killing for ritual purposes, frequent mass murder of harmless, innocent and defenseless citizens are instances.
“Very often our young people, the very symbols of life and vigour, are the victims and agents of this wastage of human life. In recognition of our divine mandate, may we remind all of the sacredness and inviolability of human life. No person, authority or institution has the right to terminate human life.