The outgoing Archbishop, Province of Niger Delta of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Reverend Ignatius Kattey, has declared that the Nigerian political atmosphere is thickening with hate and indifference as the country prepares for the 2019 general elections.
He said with the heated confrontations, alignment and realignment as well as power tussles and disharmony already being experienced, the struggle for the political space and power in the country is quite disturbing.
Kattey, who is also the outgoing Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta North, spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, while briefing newsmen as part of activities marking his disengagement from active service.
The retiring Archbishop said: “As the 2019 general elections draw nearer, the political atmosphere in our nation and in the various states is thickening with hate and indifference. The election will see key political figures in the country slog it out for the state and national assemblies; for state governors and the president of the nation.”
He said, “We do not expect all of us to think alike. The world is large enough for all to have deferring ideologies, views and philosophies without destroying ourselves. We must learn to accommodate and tolerate ourselves.”
He therefore appealed to Nigerians to ensure that the elections are conducted in a way that will be accepted internationally, adding that the new menace of vote buying is a whirlwind that will not do anyone good.
While pleading with security agencies, including the Police and the Armed Forces to maintain neutrality during the elections, Kattey urged the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the elections without bias.
He said: “We plead that security agencies, the Police, the Armed Forces, etc should maintain neutrality which they are known for all over the world. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the electoral umpire should conduct and be seen to conduct the elections without bias.”
The outgoing Arch-Bishop, who is also former Dean of the Church of Nigeria, said he served the Anglican Church for 32 years as Pastor, Bishop, Archbishop, Dean and in several other capacities.
Kattey said: “For the past 32 years, we have served the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) as a Pastor, Bishop, Archbishop and Dean, and as Chairman of the Joint Council of Provinces, East of the Niger, that is all the Anglican faithful in the East of the Niger, Grand Patron of the Scripture Union (Nigeria), and as well as Chairman of some Ecumenical Christian bodies.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that during these years of Episcopacy and Arch-Episcopacy, the Lord has not only expanded the Church but it has recorded phenomenal growth spiritually and physically, which necessitated this anniversary celebration by way of counting our blessings and thanksgiving to God for what He has done and asking for more.”
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