Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor has made a case for independent candidates in Nigeria as a way of encouraging more qualified people to come into politics to offer their best in leadership without being boxed into the belief of various political parties.
Ezeokafor made the call while speaking with journalists to commemorate this year’s St Valentine’s day celebration, saying that independent candidacy would help people who are not members of any of the political parties, but who have genuine interest to serve to come out and contest elections.
“Some good people who have the will to serve are already afraid of the expensive nature of politics in Nigeria. Sometimes they come to me and express such views. When you see someone who has leadership attributes, and you encourage them to go for service and they tell you, ‘no Bishop I cannot afford it.
“If I am allowed to make this suggestion, I will advocate for what we call independent candidature, that will help people who have genuine leadership intention but do not belong to any political party or cannot afford the expensive nature of Nigerian politics to participate.
“Often times, people tend to regard the party on which one is contesting election. You and I know that there is a political party that someone will enter and they are already sure of victory irrespective of who they are, but independent candidature will help us to vote for people rather than political parties.” Ezeokafor said.
The Bishop also added that in the spirit of love, which St Valentine fought for, and which was marked universally last Saturday, the Federal government should be magnanimous enough to accommodate politicians who have no party affiliation as their refusal to identify with any party may be because their belief is at variance with those of the parties.
He called for love among politicians, saying that it is the only thing that can guarantee the unity of Nigeria and the safety of lives and property of the people of the country in this period of election
Speaking on the willingness of the federal government to conquer the Islamic terrorist group; Boko Haram in the next six week that elections are scheduled to hold, the Bishop said “Where there is a will there is a way.
“It is even hard to believe that part of this country is under the control of terrorist forces. If I can use this word, we are the giant of African and to know that a small group like this is holding us hostage is unthinkable, but come to think of it, it is just because the country is divided. I was in the boys company during the war, and I know how things went, but when things started changing was when we had saboteurs. It is exactly the same with Nigeria today.”