As the 2023 general elections draw closer, a cleric in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Nigeria (RPCN), Rev. Cornelius Eke has warned the electorate against selling their votes nor exchanging their voter’s cards for any pecuniary benefits.
This is contained in a statement signed by Dr Joseph Chukwu, the head of the Directorate of Media and Communication of the Church and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
The clergyman defined 2023 as a ‘defining year’ for the country noting that the year would usher in two critical events – the general election and the census exercise.
According to the statement, the advice is contained in a New year sermon delivered by the clergyman who is also the Secretary General of RPCN, Redemption Congregation, Abakaliki.
He said that the forthcoming election was crucial and required the participation of all registered voters to ensure that the right candidates were elected.
He advised Nigerians not to sell their voters’ card or their votes so as not to be like Esau in the Bible who sold his birthright for a paltry pot of porridge and suffered the consequences thereafter.
The statement read in part: “Your voters’ card is your birthright and power, use it wisely to install a credible government so that you will not live in regret for the next four years; do not sell it no matter how much the politicians price it.”
The cleric charged church members and Christian faithful in Nigeria to participate actively in politics so that credible candidates who will salvage and rescue Nigeria would emerge in the next polls.
Speaking on the 2023 Census, the clergyman said it was a significant milestone in that it would be the first time in more than a decade that the actual population of Nigeria would be known, adding that it would usher in proper planning in all facets of governance.
“If you refuse to be counted, it means you don’t count in Nigeria so you must present yourself and your family to be counted when the time comes so that you will count in Nigeria,” the statement added.
The statement noted that the 17-year census data was not only obsolete but unreliable in national planning, adding that with new census data to emerge later in the year, it would help the government to plan with certainty instead of estimations.
“2023 will usher in open doors; new opportunities, progress, blessings, abundance and prosperity to Nigerians who build their trust and dependence on God only, people should not dwell in the past or allow themselves to be distracted by irrelevances.”