‘Track the records of those seeking our votes’
Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, has advised Nigerians to take 2023 general elections seriously and utilise the power of their votes to advance solutions to resolving the critical issues militating against the country in concrete terms. He urged them not to be deceived into thinking that the elections would not hold or thattheir votes don’t count. The Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos charged the electorate to have adequate information about the political candidates as well as their respective agenda, in order to make informed choices to solving the myriad of problems facing the country at this crucial time. The cleric disclosed these while delivering his speech during Mass on the occasion of the ordination of nine priests, 65th Episcopal anniversary of Late John Kwao Amuzu Aggey, the first indigenous Archbishop of Lagos; and 10th anniversary of the installation of Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins as the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos on Thursday, August 4, 2022, at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.
He said, “We ask you to take the forthcoming elections seriously and do all that needs be done to use the power of your votes to determine where you want our country to go. Let no one be misled into saying that their votes would not count. Signs are there that they would count. I know that there are many who have sincere doubts that the elections would take place in 2023. The signs are indeed ominous with the pervading insecurities that we are seeing, the signs are indeed ominous, but we are a people of hope who anchor their hope on God.” According to previous findings, when it comes to politics, Nigerians have become pessimistic. People don’t trust the political parties. Voter turnout is mediocre. Cynicism and polarisation are rampant. But behind this pessimism lies the truth – individual Nigerians have more political power than they realise.
But since the political parties concluded their presidential primaries, the polity has been astir as millions of people across the country, especially youths, scramble to get registered as voters. But political stakeholders insist that a free and fair election is not only about the freedom to vote and the knowledge of how to cast a vote, but also about a participatory process where the electorate go the extra mile to ensure that candidates convince them of their readiness for the job for which they campaign for. Ahead of the general elections, Archbishop Martins further tasked Nigerians to be attentive to politicians and scrutinise their agenda. The prelate stressed, “In preparation for casting our votes when the time comes, we must listen attentively to what the politicians have to say, pay attention to their plans for the future of the country, the future of its young population in particular, especially as it concerns security, education, the economy and the question of Nigeria’s unity with equity and fairness to all within the federation, a nation in which everyone feels a sense of belonging.
Let us take time to examine the agenda they propose for controlling government expenditure as well as the track records of those seeking our votes for the different positions before we decide whom to cast our votes for.”
…’Complete the leadership training programme’, Cleric reads riot act to Lay Leaders
Archbishop Martins has cautioned all elected lay leaders to complete the Archdiocesan leadership training programme within the stipulated time or risk forfeiting their elective offices. He read the riot act while delivering same speech at Mass on the occasion of the ordination of nine priests, 65th Episcopal anniversary of Late ABP. John Kwao Amuzu Aggey and 10th anniversary of the installation of Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins as the Archbishop of Lagos on Thursday, August 4, 2022 at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos. He said, “We are grateful for the follow-up training in leadership skills that we named Leading for Mission. The programme began with the clergy working in the Archdiocese and it is ongoing with the training of leaders of Associations of the lay faithful. “Let me use this opportunity to say again that those who get elected into offices but fail to complete the programme of Leading for Mission within the period stipulated may have to give up their positions to those who have gone through it.”
The Chief Shepherd further stressed, “It is that important to us that those who aspire to leadership in the Church must get the skills required to fulfil their roles. Good leadership anchored on the values of Christ and His Church is needed, in order to produce the rich fruits of people seeking and striving after holiness of life. As they identify themselves more with the Church for the sake of growth in their spiritual lives, for the sake of evangelisation and winning souls for Christ and His Church, people would attain the holiness of life expected of them.”