The Archbishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Abuja, Archbishop Job Oche on Sunday advised politicians to stop scaremongering about the general elections scheduled for next year even as he also advised them to leave ‘2015 alone.”
The Cleric said this while speaking to an audience which included President Goodluck Jonathan and other leading politicians at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. He said unnecessary scaremongering by politicians about 2015 elections may keep voters out of the polling stations.
“Some of the utterances we hear we begin to fear, when you hear some of the threats they issue to each other you will even wonder what 2015 will look like,” the Archbishop who spoke on a message with the theme ‘How Do We Keep Nigeria One?’ said.
“May I advise all politicians here to give us peace of mind. People have started to fear how 2015 will look like. If you need our votes, don’t threaten us. Begin to preach peace that will make us to come out and vote,” said the Cleric.
“Leave 2015 alone, God knows what to do with 2015. Leave the problems of tomorrow for tomorrow. Stop destroying one another because of ambition,” he added.
The Archbishop who took the congregation through Hebrews chapter 11 from verse 13, 2nd Timothy 4: 7, also urged Nigerians to do everything possible to keep the country as one so that the labour of past heroes will not be in vain.
While urging politicians to stop recruiting thugs and hired assassins in order to create a special place for themselves in politics, the Cleric pleaded with politicians to stop utterances that are capable of weakening the leaders, just as he advised Nigerians to perpetually love one another instead of hatred for other tribes or religion.
In his own speech at the occasion, President Jonathan urged politicians, especially, the elderly politicians to promote peace and unity through their utterances.
“Sometimes I get worried when I listen to provocative statements that come from very senior citizens. People that ordinarily you perceive are very senior citizens. People who are probably 70 or 80 years who have seen it all, who ordinarily should know the unity of this country is more important than the interest any individual.
“Sometimes they preach hate and even encourage young people to carry arms and kill themselves,” said the President who added that his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian: “I have always said it that any ambition I have at any time is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. I will never ever expect a Nigerian to spill a drop of his blood because Goodluck Jonathan must fulfil his ambition.”
“I pray that all politicians should know that there will be no nation if we kill ourselves. Just like the Archbishop said if you want people to come out and vote, why do you threaten them. If you threaten them, people will stay in their houses and how do you intend to win election? Is it by manipulating the figures and declaring yourself a winner?,” he queried.
“If all of us collectively talk about the unity and peace of this country then of course all our economic, security problems will be resolved and the country will move in the direction we want it to.”
The President therefore urged Nigerians to emulate “those people that have kept this country one for us to be celebrating our centenary we should admonish ourselves the key actors today, we should preach peace, we should preach unity.”
“Nigeria would have been two or more nations by now. But they worked for it, some died in the process, some died serving the world outside . These are the people we are remembering today,” he added.
The ceremony also featured rendition of special songs, prayers for Nigeria and bible readings. Others present at the service included the Senate President, David Mark, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, Jonathan’s mother, Eunice, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim, Pius Anyim, ministers, top government officials, children and relatives of deceased soldiers also attended the service.