YCE, Farounbi react to PFN President over voting competence, not religious sentiments
• Attempt to Islamise Nigeria threat to Christians, says Abegunrin
• Bishop Oyejola urges the electorate to vote out failed politicians
The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) and a former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Yemi Farounbi, yesterday, reacted to the call by President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Wale Oke, that competence should be the basis of electing the next President and not a religious sentiment.
Oke, who spoke in Ibadan during the “First Service of the New Ministerial Year” of Sword of the Spirit Ministries, had said: “Tribalism or religious sentiment should not be a basis for Nigerians in electing their next president, saying that what matters most is who can take the nation out of its problems.”
BUT reacting, Farounbi said it is correct to vote for competence and character but the sensibility and peculiarities of Nigeria must be respected.
He said: “It is a correct opinion. Election of leaders ought not to be based on religious sentiments but on the leader’s vision for the country, competence and capacity of the leaders.
“One cannot say religion does not matter. Everything must be balanced. You cannot take all appointments to one region or religion and say it does not matter. We must have a balance of vision, character and ability to respect the sensibility and peculiarities of Nigeria.”
IN his own remarks, Secretary-General of YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, said power must, first of all, come to the South before talking about competence, capacity and character.
‘’The power must come to the South first and then we can be talking about competence, capacity and character. Once it is in the South, we can talk about those things,” Olajide said.
IN a related development, the Archbishop of Ibadan Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev. Gabriel Ojeleke Abegunrin, yesterday, said the attempt to Islamise Nigeria would be a threat to Christians’ faith.
Abegunrin, who decried the mass exodus of Nigerians, especially youths, to other countries in search of greener pastures, blamed the near collapse of the political class for the disturbing trend.
He also blamed rising prosperity teachings by some religious leaders and get-rich-quick syndrome among youths for the mass exodus of Nigerians abroad.
The cleric made these assertions, yesterday while delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the First Synod of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, held at Our Lady and St. Kizito Pastoral Centre, Ede, Osun State.
ALSO, in his homily at a Holy Mass held at the opening ceremony, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Most Rev. John Oyejola, told Nigerians that their votes make them more powerful than politicians and that they should desist from collecting money from political office seekers in exchange for their votes.
He said what Nigeria needed was selfless leaders and urged voters to scrutinise candidates well, hold them accountable to their promises and vote them out should they derail from their manifestoes.