As a Clergy or Priest, we belong to no political party. However, we have a moral burden and religious duty to speak out on any political or leadership issue or injustice that could adversely affect Nigeria’s peace, prosperity or our stability. In addition, we must speak in defense of our faith, for the marginalized, the downtrodden and for those who have no voice. We have the right to make our opinions known on any social or public issue, and to influence others to imbibe the same opinions, where possible.
We are patriotic citizens of this great nation – Nigeria. We have the right to discharge our civic responsibilities of voting for a candidate of our choice from any political party. Being a priest does not alienate one of these fundamental human rights. In addition, we have the right to publicly state why we would support a candidate or a political party, or why we will do the contrary.
Beside praying for our nation which the Scripture enjoins us to do, we cannot become completely careless about the process and activities that lead to producing who become our leaders at any level. What happens in leadership will always affect us in the long run. So, we must get involved.
It is high time we knew that as Priests, we must keep our eyes on political happenings around us at all levels; make our voices heard where necessary, particularly when one feels led of the Lord or when you perceive some injustice or some manipulations that are detrimental to our faith or to any segment of society.
Let’s all know that politicians will always be politicians. All they care for is their interest. To them, “Politics is all about interest. No permanent friend and no permanent enemy.” Permit me to add that, to them, “no permanent political party and no permanent camp even in the same party.” Where they pitch their tent at any time will only be determined by where their interest will be protected or granted. So, what do you expect if men of conscience will abandon the affairs of our lives and our nation solely in the hands of politicians? The saying is true that, “Evil thrives where good people keep silent.”
Let me ask, who is that prominent politician in Nigeria that has never moved from one political party to the other? How many of them have not cross-carpeted here and there in pursuit of their agenda? This also includes their followers. How many politicians will not continue to support a political party and candidate even when they know s/he is not the right material, and even when they know s/he might not win? Many will keep following them doggedly as long as their interests are there.
All that we have gone through as a nation over these years is enough to make us wise. It’s time to think twice. It’s indeed time to be wise!
Rev Mike Maikarfi (JP) is the CAN Chairman, Keana LGA, Nasarawa State. email@example.com