From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has charged Nigerians to be circumspect and deliberate in their choice of public office holders by supporting candidates who have the fear of God and respect for humanity.
In a press statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs Dr Makut Simon Macham said Governor Lalong disclosed this at the 1st General Assembly of Catholics in Politics and Catholic Business Leadership.
Lalong said Nigerians of all faiths must fully participate in the political process before, during and after elections by ensuring that candidates that vie for public office possess godly principles that will guide them to govern with the fear of God and do justice to all.
He said bringing Catholic politicians and captains of industry under one roof to discuss their roles in the Nigerian project at this particular time is very significant because the nation is in dire need of godly men and women to champion the rebirth that will lead Nigeria to achieve its national aspirations.
The Governor said Christians and indeed Catholics are taught to follow the principles laid out by God in the Bible and the examples left by Jesus Christ, such that they will always make a difference wherever they find themselves.
He emphasised that the forum provides the participants an opportunity to discuss the challenges confronting Nigeria such as insecurity, corruption, violence, diseases, poverty, and poor infrastructure with a view to peer-reviewing one another and giving stewardship of their responsibilities in various offices.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo commended the Catholic Church for organising the General Assembly which is in line with its long tradition of speaking truth to power and creating consciousness among citizens.
He said the theme of the meeting is hinged on Catholic social teaching which harps on the common good as a basis for public service and governance.
Osinbajo said the pursuit of the common good pushes people in or out of positions of authority, to seek equal treatment, fairness, justice, and human rights of others outside their ethnic, religious, political and other affiliations.
He said raising leaders with such qualities in Nigeria will require that parochial interests are put aside in all leadership recruitment processes. This he argued cannot be achieved accidentally because Christians have to fully participate and commit to building bridges across religious, ethnic, social and economic lines.