The Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) has tasked presidential candidates on the need to have a proper understanding of the issues affecting the nation in order to provide workable solutions.
The Christian body who gave the task on Thursday in a statement signed by its president, Archbishop Daniel Okoh said candidates should ensure that their pronouncements does not end up as mere rhetorics.
The Archbishop who commended presidential candidates that honoured their invitation to the just-concluded interactive session which was in a view to discussing issues that will promote the common good of every citizen of Nigeria, said, “their decision to meet and dialogue with CAN officials and other Christian leaders ahead of the 2023 general elections is remarkable not only because the Church is a critical stakeholder in the Nigerian project, it also provided us a platform to collectively review our understanding of the crisis of development and governance facing our nation and find a lasting solution to them.
“Having consulted with Nigerians of diverse religious, ethnic and social class on the problems of the country and the possible solutions to them, CAN articulated these ideas in a document we christened, The Charter for a New Nigeria. The position of CAN on certain national issues based on this document was presented to the presidential candidates.
“CAN salutes the candour of all the presidential candidates who participated in the interactive session and charge those among them who have made up their minds to execute the suggested solutions to our national crisis as spelt out in the charter to walk that talk seriously, if elected in 2023.
“However, there is a need for proper understanding of the issues on ground and thorough planning to ensure that pronouncements do not end up as mere rhetoric while an impatient public counts the days – for implementation.
“In view of the fact that the apex Christian body understands that Nigeria’s next helmsman will be under serious pressure to make an immediate impact upon assumption of office next year, we make a solemn promise to keep our doors open for further discussion on how best to make these laudable ideas a reality for the public good.
“Let no one get it twisted, the engagement with the 2023 presidential candidates was neither a campaign programme nor an endorsement event.
“The position we have taken on any issue of national concern, especially when it relates to leadership and governance, is in the interest of inclusivity and respect for our plurality as a nation.
“We wish all the presidential candidates safety and security as they campaign vigorously for votes in the next three months, and reiterate our promise to continue to work and pray for a violence-free elections in 2023.
“We urge all Nigerians, before marching to the polls in 2023, to listen dispassionately to all that the presidential candidates have to say and judge from the depths of their consciences who will best lead the nation into a new era of peace, security, prosperity and collective progress,” he said.