Catholic Diocese of Osogbo ends synodal discussions as bishop gives members guides on 2023 polls

Catholic Diocese of Osogbo
Catholic Diocese of Osogbo ends synodal discussions as bishop gives members guides on 2023 polls
TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
In order for Nigeria to witness a political turnaround after the 2023 general elections, the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, on Saturday, provided guides to members on the qualities to watch out for from candidates seeking their votes.
This came as the diocese rounded-off synodal discussions and suggestions after a weeklong programme.
The Bishop of the diocese, Most Rev. John Oyejola, asked members of the Church to examine all the candidates well and vote for the ones that have integrity, competence, character and value.
He called on Christians to desist from abandoning politics for bad politicians and stressed the need for everyone to vote for right candidates during the 2023 General Elections.
Oyejola, while addressing members of the Church at a Mass he celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Osogbo, to round-off the first Synod of the diocese, challenged Christians to go into politics and clean it up of they think it’s dirty.
Specifically, the cleric asked them to vote for a presidential candidate who has integrity, character, value and sound track record, adding that they should not vote in the line of ethnicity and religion.
The bishop who distributed letters to members on how they should be guided in voting rightly, said the nation was in serious crisis, but it was not beyond redemption should the electorate elect the right people into governance.
Addressing members of the Church, he said: “We are not allowed to be partisan but allowed to guide our people on how to vote the person in and vote him out. Your vote is your power. You vote the person in and vote him out. Yes, the vote is your power, you have to use it and use it well. When the politicians are coming to you to beg for your votes, they are seeking for job, coming to you to employ them. Yes, and you employ them with your votes, of you don’t vote them, you don’t want them, that’s what it means.
“By the grace of God, your vote will count. So, don’t let anybody deceive you that votes don’t count. So, go out and vote and vote rightly and wisely. Vote to bring good change into our country. I am happy to have Mr Benedict (Alabi, Osun State Deputy Governor) as a Catholic. Many of you should go into politics and sanctify the place. Go and bring change into the game and make the place a better place. You are supposed to be salt of the earth and light of the world. Go there and change it. Don’t just say it’s a dirty game, why can’t you go there and clean it up? I am not saying it’s easy but go, make efforts, go there and do your best.
“So, please, go out and vote. Don’t vote on the line of ethnicity or religion. Vote on the point of competence, value, integrity, and be objective about it. Vote for justice and progress of our country. The country is in a serious crisis. Don’t let us deceive ourselves. Most of the politicians will not tell you but some of them are sincere to talk to us. But, many of them will not tell you what is going on. We are in serious trouble. But, it’s not beyond redemption.
“You have to go out and vote rightly. Don’t give up, don’t be afraid, by the grace of God, we will get there. All the challenges we are facing are more about leadership. That there is no employment, security and peace is about leadership. We need someone who will turn things rightly for us, so, vote rightly.”

Catholic Diocese of Osogbo

Speaking further while fielding questions from journalists after Mass, Oyejola blamed bad leadership for the challenges confronting the nation and said once good people assume political positions, the nation would experience turnaround.
He said, “basically, the people are to vote wisely. The cause of the problem we are in today is because we lack good leaders. Insecurity, no job, no good roads, no electricity, schools are closed and economy is bad, it’s because we lack good leaders. Look at all those leaders, where are their children in this country? If their children are in this country, certainly, they will make it work. Of their children get abroad to go and study in January, they know when they are going to end their courses but we are not doing the same here. It’s lack of goodwill. When we have right person in leadership, things will work out well.”
On the impacts of the Synod to the diocese, Oyejola said: “the impacts should be all rounder. Every sphere of the diocese will be affected. The youths, he sacrament, the administration, the governing, everything. Some of what we discussed and suggested are already in the pipelines, some are just being suggested and so we are going to find a way of actualizing them.
“Generally, it’s going to affect lives of all Christians in the diocese; priests, bishop, lay faithful, religious, all of us. It’s going to affect our lives for good. It’s a way of gingering us up to be more active to witness to our faith, to make our faith more practical, not just having faith just by name. We want a lively faith, a faith that will witness.”

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