As the 2023 general elections draw closer, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Akwa Ibom, has called on the electorate to make an objective assessment of all the candidates on the scale of capacity, competence, antecedent, character and compassion to guide their voting decision.
At the general meeting of the Catholic Youths Organization of Nigeria (CYON), Uyo Diocese, at St Theresa’s Parish, Use Abat, Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, Pastor Umo Eno,maintained that youths should focus on the principles that will foster peace, security and development of the state.
Eno, who was invited as guest speaker at the event, advised the youths to always dare to stand out even in the crowd adding that moving with the trend may not always mean moving in the right direction.
Focusing on the theme: “Swimming Against the Tide,” Eno who was accompanied by his running mate, Senator Akon Eyakenyi and many others, noted that the problem with some young people is their inability to carve a niche for themselves.
While acknowledging that most Christians, in recent time, do all manners of things to “feel among”, he applauded the Catholic Church for preserving its principles, discipline and orderliness.
The governorship hopeful emphasized that as Christians, the training is to swim against the tide as demonstrated by the head of the church, Jesus Christ.
He advised that to swim against the tide, one must know God, have a personal relationship with Him, have strength by conviction and believe, as well as be courageous.
He explained that the victory of David in the Bible over Goliath was not due to size or bodily strength, but courage and reliance on supernatural strength.
According to him, “the church is becoming more worldly now because all of us, particularly the youth, want to import what is outside into the church, and the standard is seriously dropping. I know that the Catholic Church, not because I am here, is a church that has kept its standard.
“As Christians, we are trained to be different, we are trained to be distinct, and there are things I believe you need. You need to have a connection with divinity and know who you are in God,” he said.
He therefore advised that as Christians, the youths have to be involved in the electioneering process and support leaders who have integrity and would further on the peace, security and development of the state.
The Diocesan youth president, Mr Joseph Ndodo, noted that the CYON is an apolitical organisation but stated that various documents of the church including the communiqué of the last CBCN Plenary, and that of the 8th Bi-annual National Convention of the Catholic Social Forum of Nigeria has given some guidelines.
In his words, “the summary of the guideline is for us to vote for a person that is physically capable, morally just, good in character and competent, irrespective of political party.”
The chaplain of the CYON in the diocese, Rev Fr. Maurice Akpabio, remarked that Pastor Umo Eno exudes a rare aura of peace and humility, adding that he possesses all the qualities expected of a governor and if elected, the peace in the state will be sustained.
One of the patrons of the body, Sir Raphael Edem, in his remarks, assured the youths that Pastor Eno fits the kind of persons recommended for support by the Catholic documents, adding that he has all the attributes that will endear him to any Christian.