The Ogun State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Abeokuta, the state capital, held a sensitization rally to spur their members on the need to register for and collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
The rally, which aimed at mobilizing members of the Christian faiths towards performing their civic responsibilities took-off around 9a.m from the Ake Palace Ground in Abeokuta, after receiving the royal blessings from the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo.
The rally which had in attendance, top INEC executives as well as officials of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), also took members round some major streets within the city before it terminated at an open park in Panseke area of Abeokuta metropolis where CAN leadership and other stakeholders addressed the participants.
Addressing the rally, CAN’s state chairman, Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya said the rally became important having realised that the electoral body would not “count prayers but the number of votes”.
Akinsanya explained that the two options available by which Christians can effect any meaningful change in government is through spirituality and the physical.
“There are two ways by which you can remove or retain any bad or good government: either by spirituality or physical. Spirituality is by prayers which we have been doing, now is the time for the physical and that can be legally done with our PVC”.
“If we refuse to do what we are supposed to do now, the problem will continue. Gone were the days when Christians would close their mouths on national issues. I want to assure you that a closed mouth is a closed destiny”.
He stated further that though it is the responsibility of every Christian to pray for government in power, yet believers must perform their civic responsibilities by voting at every election period.
The Ogun CAN chairman also accused INEC officials in some local government within the state of demanding for monetary inducement before they could register the people.
Akinsanya, who alleged that some INEC officials do deliberately frustrate the people who refused to offer monetary inducement, however, charged the people to be steadfast and endure such frustration which he said usually meant to discourage them.
Speaking earlier, Oba Gbadebo charged members of other religious bodies like the Islam and traditional worshipers to also take a clue from CAN’s rally to also educate their members on the need to register for and obtain PVC.
Also speaking at the rally, INEC’s Voters Education Officer, Mrs. ‘Lara Onabanjo warned people against engaging in multiple registration, stressing that the commission’s machine will detect and delete such registration.
While dishing out INEC’s special complaint number, Onabanjo charged members of the public not to hesitate at reporting any of the commission’s staff who demands for monetary inducement before registering the people.