The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has charged presidential candidates for the 2023 presidential election to ensure that they walk the talk if elected.
CAN also commended the presidential candidates who honoured their invitation to interact with Christian leaders.
In a statement signed by CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, said their engagement with the 2023 presidential candidates was neither a campaign programme nor an endorsement event.
He said CAN presented their document, The Charter for a New Nigeria which is the position of CAN on certain national issues based on this document was presented to the presidential candidates.
“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.
“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 class on the problems of the country and the possible solutions to them, CAN articulated 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,” the statement said.
CAN, however, salute the candour of all the presidential candidates who participated in the interactive session.
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The Christian apex body charged those who have made up their minds to execute the suggested solutions to the national crisis as spelt out in the charter to walk the talk seriously, if elected in 2023.
“However, there is a need for proper understanding of the issues on 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.
“Let no one get it twisted, the engagement with the 2023 presidential candidates was neither a campaign programme nor an endorsement event.
“The position we have taken on any issue of national concern, especially when it relates to leadership and governance, is in the interest of inclusivity and respect for our plurality as a nation.
“We wish all the presidential candidates safety and security as they campaign vigorously for votes in the next three months, and reiterate our promise to continue to work and pray for a violence-free elections in 2023.
“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,” the statement added.