Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo are among dignitaries that will grace the 25th anniversary of the Canonical Erection of the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta.
According to a statement signed by the Diocesan Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Most Rev Dr Peter Olukayode Odetoyinbo, the programme will have between Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th January, 2023.
On Wednesday, there will be symposium and launch of Diocesan Documentary at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Cathedral, Itesi Adatan Road Abeokuta.
The thanksgiving Mass will hold on Thursday at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Cathedral, Itesi Adatan Road, Abeokuta.
The Diocese, which began with 9 Parishes and 9 priests, now has 69 parishes and 75 incardinated priests.
He added that the Diocese has contributed to the socio-economic development of the State in the area of health, education and other areas.
Bishop Odetoyinbo used the opportunity to call on Nigerians called to avoid vote buying and selling during his forthcoming general elections
“Let us remember that selling our votes will further compound our problems. We observed with delight, the enthusiasm with which many people approached INEC offices for registrations for their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC), we appeal to everyone that registered to kindly go and collect their cards. With the extension of the deadline for the collection of the cards by INEC, we expect more people to take advantage of this period to approach the officers at their wards for their cards. As a Church, we remain non-partisan, however we have the responsibility of speaking to matters of faith, morals and social justice particularly as they affect the poor and vulnerable. We therefore continue to advocate for social inclusion in our electoral process that will ensure that no one is disenfranchised”.
“The present administration has signed a new Electoral Amendment Bill into Law (2022 Electoral Act) which of course is a laudable effort to keep the Nigerian electoral process up to standard with other democratic countries across the world. It is only hoped that the provisions of this Act are judiciously implemented in the coming elections to enable Nigerians enjoy the exercise of their political franchise before, during and after the elections”
Such will really boost the confidence of Nigerians in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections”.
The introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) to capture the face and finger prints of electorates and the electronic transmission of election results is indeed a dream come through and we are glad to hear from INEC that the commission is not contemplating the postponement of the elections”.
While we urge politicians to be faithful to the ideals of the peace accord signed by the aspirants and political parties, we also appeal to party agents and their supporters to shun campaigns of calumny and conduct themselves peacefully as the electioneering campaigns progress. They must think and act in the interest of our nation, bearing in mind that we are at a critical point in our nation’s history as far as economy, security, unity, religious freedom etc are concerned. This time is definitely not for business as usual, our nation needs redemption particularly as the latest multi-dimensional poverty index survey reveals that over 63% of persons living in Nigeria are multi-dimensionally poor. Weaponizing poverty to buy votes should be highly discouraged in whatever shape or form”.
Let the electorates examine the character and capacity of the aspirants of the various political parties and vote for candidates that will lead us to our dream land. We cannot afford to miss it again this time, if we desire a new Nigeria then it must come with new orientation and attitudinal change”.
Imagine how kidnapping, bribery, vote-buying, ballot box snatching, corruption, insurgency, banditry, robbery and other related vices will become things of the past if everyone of us decides to embrace a change of attitude. We implore Nigerians to reject all forms of vote selling and incentives by politicians who have turned our willpower to merchandise. Selling your vote is as good as selling your right to good governance and dividends of democracy. Let us join hands to save Nigeria by electing credible leaders that will salvage things from getting worse”.