The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigerian (CBCN) says the Catholic church does not support any candidate or subscribe to ideology of any political party in Nigeria as 2019 general elections approach.
The Secretary-General of CBCN, Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, made the statement at a news briefing on Thursday, in Abuja.
Madu said CBCN condemned in totality the declaration made by the founder of Adoration Ministry in Enugu state, Rev. Fr Ejike Mbaka.
Mbaka, at mass on Sunday declared that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar would fail in 2019.
The priest made the declaration following the refusal of the PDP Vice-Presidential candidate, Peter Obi to publicly announce a donation to his ministry.
The CBCN secretary said: “The Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and the Catholic Church in Nigeria denounced the scenario and also not in support of any priest making political statements.
“As teachers of the faith and morals, we have the serious obligation to educate the faithful on their roles in the political life of the country.
“We have observed that the political atmosphere is very tense and also noticed the political realignment that is taking place.
“We wish to use this opportunity to make it clear again that the Catholic Church remains ever apolitical and does not endorse or subscribe to any political party.
“No priest is expected to come out openly to support a particular candidate for any reason.
“The Church law does not accept such a thing. So, it would be wrong for a priest to come out and give an endorsement to a particular candidate.
“Our concern is for a peaceful election process seen to be free, fair, credible and just; and a democratic governance that guarantees peace, justice, equity, development and religious freedom for the common good,” Madu said.
The CBCN warned all priests and religious leaders to desist from giving the impression that the Church was in favour of one candidate over another or one political party over another.
“We are aware of the difficult times faced by the nation and as people of faith, we must work hard and also pray hard for the future of the nation.
The CBCN urged all faithful to say the “Prayer for Nigeria in Distress” composed by CBCN.
“We consequently, call on Catholics to recite this prayer at all masses and other liturgical celebrations.
“We entrust Nigeria into the hands of God and implore him to improve the situation in our country,” the secretary said.
The CBCN prayed God to intervene in the life of Nigeria once again so that Nigerians would enjoy true peace, justice and prosperity.