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Catholic Church Cautions Buhari over refusal to sign Electoral Bill

Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, has at yesterday described President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay to sign into law the amended Electoral Act by the national assembly as worrisome. Vanguard reports that the Head of Justice, Development Peace and Caritas Commission, (JDPC) Reverend Father Gerald Njoku spoke to newsmen in Owerri, he said, “The position of the church before this latest development is that the signing and implementation of the amended bill will sufficiently improve our electoral process and guarantee elections that will be acceptable to majority of the stakeholders. One can therefore imagine the disappointment that greeted the non-signing of the bill.” The JDPC boss expressed worry over the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold assent to the amended electoral bill, explaining that the church was committed to free and fair election in the country. Njoku also announced that the Catholic Church would organise a political debate for the governorship candidates in Imo State in February 2019, adding that the Catholic church had not endorsed any governorship candidate. He said, “JDPC, is an organ of the church that relates with the society, especially in the areas of good governance advocacy, entrepreneurship development, medical outreaches, skill acquisition, education sponsorship, legal and humanitarian interventions. “We challenge INEC to bring to bear more robust strategies to ensure that Permanent Voters Cards get to owners. The current position where over 500,000 voters cards are yet to be collected is totally unacceptable and we appeal that all of us should work together to ensure that a good percentage of Imo voters collect their voters cards.” He said. Njoku noted that the Cathoilc Church had taken note of the lapses which occurred in the 20I5 governorship debate in Imo and decided that the 2019 debate would be strictly on invitation on the side of the audience, “The commission will hold a sensitisation and voter education road show along the streets of Owerri on Wednesday 12th December, 2018.” He added.

By: Anne Clement Bassey

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