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Herdsmen killings must stop if 2019 election must hold, says Adeboye
Enoch Adeboye, Head of the Redeemed Christians Church of God (RCCG) says the 2019 general election may not hold if the killings by herdsmen and bandits across several states of Nigeria persist.
Adeboye said this while preaching during the Church’s Holy Ghost service on Friday night, stressing that people can only go out to cast their votes when they are assured of their safety.
He made particular reference to the attack by herdsmen on a Catholic Church in Ayar-Mbalom community, Gwer East local government area of Benue State, in April, where 17 people, including two priests were killed
“As a leader, people from various denominations called (saying), daddy, the 27 people killed were my children who were in a church or returning from a church programme. As a father, I naturally became sad over that,” Adeboye said.
He added that another religious leader called him over the incessant killings and had also asked him whom he thinks would win the 2019 presidential election, to which he replied that if the killings did not stop, the election may not hold.
“When people are not sure about their safety how would they go out in parts of the country where killing is rampant to vote?” Adeboye asked.
Like Adeboye, many religious, especially Christian leaders, have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of insecurity in Nigeria presently, and had cast doubts on the possibility of the general election holding next year in such a circumstance.
One of such religious leaders is Mathew Hassan Kukah, outspoken Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, who had said that it would be a great miracle if Nigeria pulls through the general election in 2019.
“It will be one of the greatest miracles if we pull through the election successfully. I do not see how we are going to conduct these elections if nothing urgent is done to increase a sense of national cohesion,” Kukah said in an interview with The Africa Report Magazine, last month.
“It would be difficult to find a single state where you do not have tension that could boil over. If you multiply this by the number of states in Nigeria and the little sense of urgency, it would be difficult to talk about 2019 without a sense of foreboding.
“I have never felt this way. I prayerfully hope the government will wake up to appreciating how bitter people feel.”