BY SUNNY A. DAVID

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Catholic bishop of Awka diocese, the Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has disclosed plans to lead the faithful in oath-taking against vote buying.Bishop Ezeokafor, during his pastoral visit to Annunciation Parish, Awka, on Sunday made the disclosure while speaking on the need for the electorate to elect credible leaders.The bishop noted that such was part of the measures to dissuade people from collecting money at the polling units, saying that vote buying, which has become the order of the day, is the major cause of bad governance.He stated that the oath-taking would involve all Catholic faithful in Awka diocese, both those domiciled in the diocese and in other places who are part of the diocese.The prelate revealed that after the oath-taking, people who would go against the oath would incur suffering and punishment upon themselves.Bishop Ezeokafor said that people must bear in mind that the carrying of ballot boxes is no more fashionable and has been replaced by vote buying which is an indication that votes still count in Nigeria.He stressed that people must take cognisance of the fact that their votes are needed and that they account for the heavy investment which politicians put in during electioneering processes.He also noted that people who made genuine money with good intentions to offer quality leadership in the country would never offer money to render their services. He advised the electorate to develop measures to identify such genuine individuals who would offer qualitative leadership for the transformation needed in the country.He maintained that everyone has a duty to help in enthroning good leaders, saying that such is part of a good Christian responsibility, and explained that the masses could change the narrative in the country, even as he called on all to join hands for effective leadership.

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