The Christian Association of Nigeria has expressed fears that the security challenges currently facing the country, including terrorism, banditry and kidnapping, remained the biggest threat to the 2023 general election.
The association’s President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, according to a statement on Wednesday by his Special Assistant (Media and Communication), Adebayo Oladeji, raised the fears on Tuesday evening during in an interactive session with the European Union delegation led by the EU Chief Election Observer, Maria Arena.
The delegation wanted to know the position of CAN on the preparation of all stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, security agencies and political parties ahead of the elections.
Ayokunle, who also doubles as the Co-Chairman of the Nigeria Inter Religious Council, explained that the security situation in Nigeria might not allow the general election to be credible, free and fair if the voters are not allowed to go out to exercise their inalienable rights because of fear of being harmed or kidnapped or killed.
“We call on the Federal Government and the security agencies to wake up to the security challenges in the country where terrorists, bandits and kidnappers are operating with impunity and nowhere is safe and secure again.
“If the trend continues, many voters may not participate and the outcome of the election may not be credible,” the CAN President said.
He observed that the government appears to be struggling to nip the ugly situation in the bud, as its present effort was far from being enough.
“We have been struggling with this situation now for the past 13 years, yet, we are still where we are,” Ayokunle lamented.
While calling on INEC to be apolitical in carrying out its assignment, he asked members of the commission who are card-carrying members of the ruling party to step down or be flushed out in order to avoid compromised election results.
The CAN President told INEC to borrow a leaf from its counterpart in Gambia where their recently conducted elections were far better than Nigeria’s elections.
He said all election observers, including all Africa Conference of Churches’ delegation that he led there adjudged the election to be credible.