Religious leaders have advised Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter Cards and be ready to vote according to their conscience in the February 25 presidential election.
The clerics spoke on Wednesday in Abuja at the 5th Annual Peace Conference and General Assembly of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace with the theme ‘Religion and ethnicity: Safeguarding the 2023 general elections.’
Among the religious leaders were the Sultan of Sokoto and the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar; and the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Archbishop Daniel Okoh.
Abubakar, represented by the Director of Administration, NSCIA, Zubairu Usman, urged the people not to be swayed by primordial sentiment, but by their conscience.
He said, “We are first Nigerians before anything else. So, Nigerians should go and get their PVCs, conduct themselves peacefully, go to the polling units on election days and vote with wisdom and according to their conscience.”
Okoh, represented by Most Rev. Benebo Fubara-Manuel, also said despite the zero-tolerance stance of CAN on the issue of the same-faith presidential ticket, Nigerians should listen to God and vote according to their conscience.
He said, “Individuals will vote according to their consciences. Vote the person that God has placed in your heart as the leader of the country even when CAN says no to the same-faith ticket.
“CAN hasn’t said no to our consciences. It is only saying to us; listen to your God. Look at the country and its economy, and find the best leader.
“Why did CAN say no to the same-faith ticket? It is to ease the tension to make sure that political parties play in such a way that we, as a nation, can be able to manage our diverse religious and ethnic consciousness.”
Earlier, the co-chairmen of IDPF, Bishop Sunday Onuoha and Alhaji Kunle Sanni, urged political actors to stop any plot to manipulate the electoral process.