As Nigerians go to the polls on Saturday, Catholics have been advised to witness to the truth during the elections.
The Very Rev. Msgr. Kevin Akagha, gave the advice in his homily at St. Mark Catholic Church New Owerri, Feb. 3.
Reflecting on the Readings, Msgr. Akagha said that through baptism, every Catholic is a prophet, adding that a true prophet does not tell lies, rig election or deliver false judgement.
He therefore charged Catholics to witness to Christ by resisting the temptation to sell their votes, rig election, intimidate voters exhibit other vices that plague Nigeria’s electoral system.
“People may not like you because you are God-fearing, a good Catholic, a true prophet; but you have been assured in the Reading that, “they will fight against you, but shall not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you” – it is the Lord who speaks.
Msgr. Akagha, who is the Episcopal Vicar of New Owerri Zone, wondered why good people change when they assume political power in Nigeria. He observed that some politicians keep aloof on assumption of office, deny Christ because of power and money and distance themselves from old friends.
Cautioning Catholic politicians who joke with their faith, the Episcopal Vicar drew their attention to Mt. 10:32-33: “Everyone who acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge before my heavenly father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly father.”
He said that the coming election is an opportunity to test your faith, whether you will vote according to your conscience or deny Christ because of the lure of filthy lucre.
“If you are elected or appointed into any office, know you are a Christian, make a change, he said. Msgr. Akagha who noted that the impression in Nigeria is that politics is a dirty game; called on Catholic politicians to change the narrative.
He expressed the need for the “Prayer For Upright Voting, Accurate Counting and Impartial Announcement of Election Results in Nigeria,” and called on Catholics to take the prayer seriously, especially now that the 2019 election is around the corner.