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Osun 2022: Mainline Churches Urge Political Gladiators To Sheath Their Swords And Allow Peace To Reign




We heads of the mainline Churches in Osogbo namely the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Osun, the Bishop of Osun Diocese, the Bishop Osun- Central Diocese of the African Church and the President of the Baptist Conference, hereby wish to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of government, and its agencies, international and local organized bodies as well as patriotic citizens to promote the democracy and good governance for the growth and stability of our nation.
We hereby express with great concern our dissatisfaction with the inability of the security architecture of our nation to contain the growing scale of the insecurity in the various regions and Nigeria in general, ranging from insurgency, abductions, ritual killings and violent conflict that have become too common. It is tragic that Nigerians are being forced by the current state of helplessness to accommodate violent experiences and the scandalous rate of killings by perpetrators of evil as normal items in our daily news.
While we consider the high rise in the rate of voters’ registration in Osun state as a commendable development, we are carefully studying to find out the major factors responsible for this as we observe that Osun state is leading nationwide with over two hundred thousand ahead of the second state with new voters’ registration. We thus continue to encourage citizens who have reached the voting age to complete their process of registration and dispose themselves to vote at the upcoming governorship election in Osun state. In this regard, we also call for the instant resolution of the chaos impeding the assent of the president in signing the Electoral Act 2021 into Law in spite several amendments and several agitations from the general public.
As heads of these Churches in Osun State, we identified the need to promote a social teachings and common understanding of the genesis and current state of these unfortunate developments which have overwhelming implications on the lives and safety of citizens and overheated the nation’s democracy, dividing Nigerians along those lines.

For Osun State, which is presently preparing for her gubernatorial election come July 16, 2022, It is very important that there must be protection of lives and property of citizens of the State which is a cardinal task of every responsible Government. It is the duty of the Government to ensure that citizens enjoy relative peace and are free from danger, risk, threat or harm, injury, or loss to personal and/or property before and after the election.
As religious leaders, there are various ways in which religious leaders can engage in curtailing electoral and political violence and promoting peace. These efforts can be engaged through more collaborative intra- or inter-religious initiatives which include Peace messaging and support for free and fair elections on Pulpits, advocate for peaceful elections through non-violent and inclusive discourse, religious sermons, Civic education, debates and election monitoring. religious leaders also played an important role – often through larger groups – in facilitating, civic education, candidate debates (including televised public debates) and election monitoring.
Having realized these responsibilities, the consortium of Bishops hereby come up with the following recommendations in order to promote peace and security, good governance in Osun State and Nigeria at large particularly as the state prepares for her election come July, 2022.

1. Signing the New Electoral bill into Law: After several analysis done by various stakeholders on Nigeria 2010 Electoral Law as amended, the need for the president to sign the already transmitted Electoral bill in law remains imperative. This consortium therefore huge the president without any further delay sign the bill into law for the survival of our democracy.
2. Osun Gubernatorial Election: The consortium recommends that all political gladiators to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign before, during and after the conduct of their primaries and not to cause chaos in the state ahead of the election. Efforts should be made at promoting dialogue towards ending conflicts in the state’s political atmosphere. A comprehensive approach involving the negotiation of political solutions must be actively pursued by all stakeholders including local initiatives on peace building efforts, de-radicalization and reconciliation in respective communities.
3. The need for continuous sensitization of citizens: – The Consortium have committed to take proactive steps in enlightening the citizens to understand their roles, rights, and responsibilities in building sustainable peace and security. We urge government to prioritize citizens engagement to support security agencies with first-hand and reliable information ahead of the election.
4. Youth Involvement in Osun Election: That youth must be carefully engaged in this forthcoming election. They must not to be used as thugs. Political gladiators must desist from distribution of arms and ammunitions to these youth because the aftermath effect of this act will be disastrous at the end of the election.
5. There is a weak collaboration between security agencies operating in the country. The Federal Government should facilitate a process of ensuring effective and efficient synergy between the various security agencies. The State Government must also play active role in protecting lives and properties of its citizen which is her sole responsibility.
In conclusion, ahead of Osun State gubernatorial election, a deliberate effort must be made in ensuring that Osun State remains peaceful and not to allow election to raise the tension in the state. Governance should not put aside as a result of election as peace and security is determined by good governance. Osun must be in peace.
Long live Osun State, Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Most Rev. John Oyejola Rt Rev. Amos K. Ogunrinde
Catholic Bishop of Osogbo Diocese The Methodist Bishop of Osogbo Diocese

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Rt Rev. Dr. Folush Olugbenga Babatunji Rev. James O. Bamidele
The Anglican Bishop of Osun Diocese The African Church Bishop of Osun Central Diocese

Rev Dr. Paul Kolawole
Conference President, Osun Baptist Conference

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