2023 Presidential Poll Was Not Religious War – Archbishop Kaigama


His Grace Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, has slammed those making dangerous claims about the recent general elections, thirty-eight days to after the presidential election.

He took a swipe on those who saw the poll as a war between Christians and Muslims or the north and the south, saying they badly missed the point.

The cleric spoke at the 2023 Chrism Mass which was held at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Abuja, on Tuesday.

At the event, Archbishop Kaigama described some of those seeking power in the country as ‘notoriously narcissistic and myopic’.

According to him, Nigerians must put away religious and ethnic bigotry in the country’s leadership recruitment process and allow the will of God to prevail.

He said, “We are as concerned as everyone that Nigeria should not slide into anarchy or disintegration. 

“Some of those seeking power in Nigeria are so notoriously narcissistic and myopic that they only see the interests of theirs or their narrow religious or ethnic or political constituencies. 

“Those who saw the recent presidential elections as a referendum between Christians and Muslims or the north and the south have badly missed the point, and such a view is the most divisive understanding of the Nigerian political reality.

“No doubt, our political maturity is still in question. We still use region, religion, and ethnicity as the basis.”

Kaigama called on stakeholders to examine their consciences; stating that the voter apathy and violence that characterised the elections in some cases were signs of dissatisfaction on the part of the electorate.

He added, “Many people were denied voting rights and even those who voted questioned the objectivity of the statutory bodies meant to guarantee fairness and justice.

“We still have a long, rough and tough journey to democratic maturity. This calls for an examination of conscience by government, INEC, security agents, and political parties. 

“We should search our hearts to see our infidelities, falsehoods, hypocrisies, the good intentions betrayed, promises broken and resolutions unfulfilled.

“A leader must be sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, like Judas who betrayed Jesus.”