Ugorji made the appeal at the opening of the 2023 First Plenary of CBCN held at the Catholic Secretariat in Abuja.
The meeting has the theme: ‘Citizens’ participation in good governance in Nigeria’.
While expressing sadness over the situation, Ugorji said that the policy had resulted in a serious cash crunch, anger and frustration among Nigerians.
“Our collapsing national economy worsens the ugly situation. While the value of the Naira continues to decline, the cost of basic commodities, including food items, continues to soar, with serious effects on the lives and livelihoods of our people. The disastrous implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cash swap policy, which resulted in a cash crunch, has added to the ordeal, anger, and frustration of the masses,” he said.
The CBCN president advised politicians to stop engaging in mudslinging, acrimony, arson, buying and selling of votes, threats, intimidation and violence ahead of the general elections.
Ugorji said instead of dissipating energy on negativity, those aspiring for political offices should concentrate on marketing their manifestoes.
He also advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to live above board and ensure that the election process is beyond reproach.
“The elections, if well conducted, can be a turning point in our political and economic history.
”We, therefore, urge all to play their roles maturely and creditably during the period of the general elections,” he added.
He said that political contests should never be perceived as a “do or die” affair.
“Any candidate who is prepared to shed blood or to spend huge sums of money to buy votes or to compromise INEC shows that he or she is seeking political office for pure self-aggrandizement,” he warned.
He reminded the faithful of their civic and moral responsibility of voting during elections.