The Northern Nigeria Union Conference of Seventh Day Adventist Church, has advised Nigerians to eschew religious sentiments in voting for leaders, saying credibility and integrity should guide their choice in the 2019 general elections.
The President of the union, Pastor Francis Dariya, made the call on Sunday at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Nyanya, FCT, during the ordination of Pastor Adamu Yusuf.
Dariya said peace and socio-economic development of the country should guide Nigerians in electing leaders of proven integrity and unquestionable character.
“No religion should be used in voting leaders, rather, we should be prayerful, whether you a Christian, Muslim or Pagan. Let pray that God will give us the right leaders that will lead this country well in 2019.
“Some politicians will prefer to use religion in order to pave their way but I advise the masses and the entire Nigerians not to allow themselves to be used in that manner because of the consequences of voting along religious line,” he said.
The president advised the newly-ordained pastor to preach the message of peace, unity and salvation to his followers and Nigerians for the good of the society.
“Let us prepare well for the second coming of our lord, Jesus Christ, by living exemplary lives, inculcating moral values in our children, always thank God and preach evangelism, the message of salvation because evangelism is a means of uniting the church members, Nigerians as well as evangelism brings joy and love.
“The mission of Seventh Day Adventist Church is to proclaim the message of salvation to everyone because of the evil acts in the society, we want people to come out of the confusion in the world and to do good things at all the time in order to inherit the kingdom of God on the last day,” he added.
Dariya also advised Christians and other Nigerians against unruly behaviour, corruption and other vices so as to inherit the kingdom of heaven.
He urged the youths to resist the temptation to be used as agents of destruction and violence and channel their energy toward meaningful activities and contributing their quota to national development.
He described the killing of people in Nasarawa, Benue, and Taraba among other killings across the federation as “unfortunate”, calling on leaders rise to the challenges by ensuring adequate protection of lives and property.
The cleric emphasised the importance of peaceful co-existence, obedience to constituted authorities and promotion of national unity among Nigerians irrespective of differences in ethnicity, faith and backgrounds.
In his post ordination speech, Pastor Adamu Yusuf thanked the executive members and other members of the church for their prayers and support toward ensuring his eventual ordination.
He promised to live above board in all his activities while preaching the message of peace and salvation to all Nigerians.