By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—AHEAD of this month’s general elections, former Archbishop of the Lagos Metropolitan See of the Catholic Church, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, has frowned at the attitude of some Nigerians whom he accused of mixing religion with politics.
Cardinal Okogie, who spoke shortly after commissioning the Archbishop Patrick Ebosele Ekpu Resource Centre, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Ugbor, GRA, Benin, Edo State, said that what Nigeria needed now was a leader who would make improvement of the lives of millions of Nigerians a priority, notwithstanding his religion.
He described the act of influencing the voters through financial inducement as wasteful, because Nigerians “are wiser today.”
Urging the electorate to examine the credibility of the presidential candidates before making a choice, he said: “We are looking for the welfare of the nation, somebody who will be the father of the nation, not just a Catholic, a Muslim or whatever.”
He blamed the challenges facing Nigeria on “sycophants,” who are out to “destroy the country,” adding that the leadership of the country has been under the influence of individuals who were not interested in the overall well-being of the masses.
He said that a good leader must be conscious of those around him, as some of them were not interested in the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
He said: “Look at the kind of leadership we have been having. The leader may be good in himself, but those around him are sycophants. They are the ones who destroy the country and any good leader should beware them.
“If he hasn’t got the capacity, then don’t vote for him. So, we have to test them. And those who are wasting their money buying (votes), Nigerians are even wiser than that today. They will eat your money for nothing.”