Election results: Kaigama cautions against judicial blackmail

Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, has admonished the political class to allow the judiciary to perform its constitutional functions, saying God above was watching how the courts will perform.

Kaigama gave the admonition yesterday in his sermon at St. Augustine Church, Lugbe, Abuja, following claims of manipulation in the results of last weekend’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

He acknowledged the critical role the judiciary plays in averting crises through the dispensation of justice during disputes and advised politicians not to be blinded by the desire to wield power.

Kaigama also cautioned judicial officers to strive to be impartial and courageous in upholding the truth, which he noted was significant in the delivery of justice.

He said: “We concluded our presidential and National Assembly elections last Saturday. Those not satisfied with the results are heading to the courts. “Let the courts do their work with the greatest sense of justice. God above is watching how the courts; the hope of the common man and woman will perform.

“The Supreme Judge of the Ultimate Tribunal is waiting for those who dispense justice with a sense of fairness or do so with great personal bias or get compromised because of some material reasons. Let justice be done.

“For political leaders, there is no need to fight dirty, rig or manipulate elections, if the desire is to genuinely serve the common good.”

“Those who take over positions of leadership should only seek to add building blocks of cohesion and development rather than destroying past good legacies or to discontinue from them; to serve, and not to be served; to build and not to destroy; to bind and not to divide.”

Meanwhile, the Catholic Archbishop decried the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to keep its promise of transparency in the collation of the election results.

However, he commended the presidential candidates of Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party, Peter Obi, for calling their supporters to order when they wanted to demonstrate in the streets against the presidential election results announced by INEC.

Kaigama observed: “Many people turned out and enthusiastically voted, believing that the transparency promised would be guaranteed.

“When it did not happen in all cases, as many felt that the process was compromised, many wanted street protests, but thanks to the maturity of the top contenders who called all to order and obedience to the laws of the land, we have yet survived together again as against those predicting doom.

“We encouraged people to get registered, to obtain their voting cards, to go out and vote. They enthusiastically trooped out to vote but to their greatest chagrin, the process did not achieve the degree of transparency expected.

“Despite all, remain calm and peaceful. Let peace reign. May God protect Nigeria and all Nigerians. There are very hostile, inflammatory, and provocative statements going around. Do not be lured into losing your cool.

“Please, participate fully in the remaining elections on Saturday. God is still the God of all Nigerians.”

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