The Catholic Bishops of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province (LEP) have cautioned the Nigerian electorate against allowing themselves to be financially induced by unscrupulous politicians.
They made the call in a statement signed by their president, Archbishop Adewale Martins on Saturday in Lagos, NAN reports.
The statement said the call followed the decisions reached at the end of a conference of the bishops, recently held at St Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos.
They called on voters across the country to vote their conscience.
“To sell one’s vote is to sell one’s conscience, as good citizens, we must avoid actions that will reduce the credibility of the elections,” the statement quoted the clerics as saying.
The Bishops urged Nigerians to defend the country’s democracy by electing patriotic and credible leadership that would be sensitive to peoples’ plight.
“Being an election year, 2019 appears delicate; we call on Nigerians to carry out their civic responsibilities with diligence and patriotism.
“Nigerians should see the election as a duty to enthrone good leadership, and no amount of financial inducement should sway us,” the clerics admonished.
The Bishops further called on the electorate to shun politicians and parties that indulged in violence and electoral vices.
They also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to give equal treatment to all the parties in order to ensure fairness and credibility.
“The hopes of a free and fair election in Nigeria rests on the ability of INEC to be neutral in the discharge of its duties,” the religious leaders added.