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Nigerians should keep faith with INEC, says Catholic bishop

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Bishop  Paulinus Ezeokafor of the Catholic Diocese of Awka,  has called on Nigerians to adjust to the inconveniences that the shift in the  dates for the conduct of  the general elections would cause them.

The bishop implored them to  work toward participating in the elections on the new dates.

Ezeokafor said this at a news conference in Awka on Sunday.

He said people should stop dwelling on blame game but support INEC  to achieve free, fair and credible elections.

According to the bishop, Nigerians should stop the  blame game, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given us its reason, let us support the commission to succeed.

“The process is  being handled by human beings and there are bound to be errors, so  we should stop mourning our fate.

“Nigerians must keep faith with INEC because that is the only body that can create the platform for us to choose our leaders,” he said.

Ezeokafor who said it was unusual for him to be at his residence on a Sunday, said all efforts should be geared toward convincing the people to maintain their zeal to take part in the election no matter the cost.

He cautioned those calling for the resignation of INEC chairman, Prof.  Mahmood Yakubu , adding that the commission must have acted in the best interest of Nigeria and the democratic process.

“The decision must have been informed by high sense of patriotism on the part of INEC;staggered election comes with so much consequences including manipulation.

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“There is no need calling for the head of the INEC chairman, he has demonstrated that he means well for Nigerians and only he can deliver that task at this stage.

“We should stop counting the cost because it is huge, rather we should maintain our zeal to vote for any person we want no matter the sacrifice we have to make.

“Part of the sacrifice is that I am in my house today  just like I was  yesterday.

” I have to put major activities in the diocese on hold, the seminary students have all gone home.

“But we will not consider all that, until we achieve the purpose,” he said.

Ezeokafor also advised the electorate to shun vote buying and other electoral vices as it was not only an offence but a sin against the society and God.

Presidential and governorship elections originally scheduled for Feb.16 and March 2 were  postponed  to Feb.23 and March 9. respectively by INEC.

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