2023: ECWA Church Issues Warning about Nigerian Presidential Elections
The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) denomination in Nigeria cautioned the 2023 Nigerian presidential elections from having a Muslim/Muslim ballot or Christian/Christian ballot, citing concerns of a “deep and irredeemable crisis” in the country. The ECWA appealed to Nigeria’s founding principles of “justice, fairness and equity” in a statement written by their president, Reverend Stephen Baba Panya, released to the Daily Post.
Reverend Panya’s statement congratulated the candidates for the elections and commended the electoral processes for the candidates for being largely orderly and peaceful while hoping that democracy in Nigeria will improve. He added, “Our national interest is greater than any individual or group interest” and referenced efforts to ensure balance in the presidential office by religion and region because of the heightened pluralism in Nigeria of different ethnicities and religions. Panya cited several presidents and prime ministers throughout Nigeria’s history that have represented both the North and South and Christians and Muslims.
Panya declared that the ECWA would not support a Muslim/Muslim ticket nor a Christian/Christian ticket and highlighted Nigeria’s constitutional values of religious tolerance and social justice. Referencing the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, he said “Section 23 of the 1999 Constitution as amended has identified, among others, religious tolerance and social justice as our national values which must guide our conduct and relationships…We must, therefore, do away with primordial sentiments that seek to divide and destroy us and embrace the ideals of peace, love, unity and progress.”
The ECWA quoted Martin Luther King, Jr, “Martin Luther King once said that we must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools. I pray we heed to this timely warning. May God choose for us leaders that are righteous, just, humble and capable of serving this nation selflessly.”
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