- Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigerian (CBCN) declares it does not have any endorsed candidate ahead of 2019
- The CBNC also warns reverend fathers and members of the church against taking actions that may not emanate from the church
- The body further condemns Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka for his comment concerning Atiku and Peter Obi
Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigerian (CBCN) on Thursday, December 6, declared that the Christian denomination does not support any candidate or subscribe to ideology of any political party in Nigeria as 2019 general elections approach.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the secretary-general of CBCN, Rev Fr Ralph Madu, made the statement at a news briefing in Abuja.
The report quoted Madu as saying the CBCN condemned in totality the declaration made by the founder of Adoration Ministry in Enugu state, Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka.
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Mbaka, had recently declared that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, would fail in 2019.
The controversial reverend father made the declaration following the refusal of the PDP vice-presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to publicly announce a donation to his ministry.
In reaction, the CBCN secretary said: “The Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and the Catholic Church in Nigeria denounced the scenario and also not in support of any priest making political statements.
“As teachers of the faith and morals, we have the serious obligation to educate the faithful on their roles in the political life of the country.
“We have observed that the political atmosphere is very tense and also noticed the political realignment that is taking place.
“We wish to use this opportunity to make it clear again that the Catholic Church remains ever apolitical and does not endorse or subscribe to any political party.
“No priest is expected to come out openly to support a particular candidate for any reason.
“The church law does not accept such a thing. So, it would be wrong for a priest to come out and give an endorsement to a particular candidate.
“Our concern is for a peaceful election process seen to be free, fair, credible and just; and a democratic governance that guarantees peace, justice, equity, development and religious freedom for the common good.”
The secretary said the CBCN warned all priests and religious leaders to desist from giving the impression that the church was in favour of one candidate over another or one political party over another.
“We are aware of the difficult times faced by the nation and as people of faith, we must work hard and also pray hard for the future of the nation,” he said.
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The body urged all faithful to say the Prayer for Nigeria in Distress composed by CBCN, adding: “We consequently, call on Catholics to recite this prayer at all masses and other liturgical celebrations.
“We entrust Nigeria into the hands of God and implore him to improve the situation in our country.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that the Catholic church reportedly distanced itself from Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka, over his perceived politically charged statements.
In a viral video on the internet, Mbaka was seen telling the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, during the annual harvest and bazaar celebration of the church on Sunday, December 2, that neither the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, nor President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), would win the 2019 presidential election
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