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2023: Engagement with presidential candidates not endorsement, vote your conscience, CAN tells Nigerians

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has stated that its interactions with presidential candidates are not an endorsement or campaign of any kind.

According to CAN President Archbishop Daniel Okoh, the interactive session with pre-candidates was held to discuss issues that will benefit all Nigerians.

Okoh said in a statement issued on Thursday by the apex Christian body that the dialogue with the candidates provided a platform for all parties to collectively review the understanding of the development and governance crises confronting Nigeria and find a lasting solution to them.

The CAN president, who advised Nigerians to vote their conscience in the 2023 presidential election, urged the presidential candidates to keep their promises to CAN and Nigerians to ensure peace and security.

While commending the candidates for honouring the meeting, he said;

On behalf of the national leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, I sincerely commend the presidential candidates that honoured our invitation to the just-concluded interactive session with a view to discussing issues that will promote the common good of every citizen of Nigeria.

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.

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 classes on the problems of the country and the possible solutions to them, CAN articulate 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 salute 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 the 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.

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