By Nucutso C Ruho
The fight at the 17 Chizami Area Constituency can be termed to be one of the most difficult in terms of the obstacles that were put up by the NBCC and the CBCC and the vendetta of other unscrupulous leaders.
This 13th General Election witnessed the first of its kind experience where the Church fuelled and instigated religious hatred. We are saddened and shocked that the Church blatantly misused the holy Church Pulpit and went to the extent of showcasing fake videos about alleged atrocities on Christians by Hindu extremists. These videos were later confirmed to be untrue and purely based on propaganda. The church should confirm genuine sources before resorting to such acts.
Though the BJP has stated its stand very clearly that it will safeguard and protect the interest of Christians in the country, the church turned a deaf ear and went to the extent of branding BJP supports as anti-Christians, RSS volunteers and Hindutva ideologists. These kinds of allegations have hurt the sentiment of the BJP members who are themselves staunch Christians and belong to different Churches.
Under the garb of prayer groups many churches in the district made it their own personal agenda to campaign against the party and even resorted to door to door visits asking gullible villagers not to vote for the BJP as it would result to them losing their salvation or even risk being removed from the church membership.
The CBCC especially took a very biased stand and even stated that “born again Christians” should not vote for the BJP in very simple terms. This has also raised a lot of doubts about the credibility of the church.In this scenario the church workers attacking a single party in the midst of many is very unbecoming of them.
The BJP stands by NBCC’s Clean Election Campaign (CEC) and believes that it is a novel initiative but the campaign deviated from its core principles where they have mentioned that they will not support any party, but the NBCC Clean Election Campaign went all out asking people not to vote for the BJP. It has been widely seen that church workers, deacons and deaconesses even indulged in proxy voting and negotiated for favours from political parties. Churches all over the state should seriously identify its people who have been involved in malpractices during the elections and even excommunicate them to prove their sincerity.
Even at a time when posters maligning the name of the BJP candidate (Kevechutso Doulo) were printed by opponents on the morning of 19thFebruary 2018, these posters were displayed on the walls of even churches in the constituency. The pictures went viral on social media but at that time the CEC remained silent and also the Church. This again raised serious questions about the people who are heading the organization.
The CEC’s silence even today when we are being informed of post poll violence in different parts of the state only shows the shallowness of the whole effort. This is the time for the NBCC’s CEC to rise up to the occasion and condemn such activities being done in the name of election.
The church should stop playing politics and we want to remind ordained Ministers and Pastors that you are being supported by your members. It is therefore in the best interest of all for the church not to take sides in politics and belittle oneself. Those who have been engaged in spreading false propaganda should resign on moral grounds to save the sanctity and integrity of the church.
Another very disturbing approach of the CBCC this time has been its willingness to swiftly defend corrupt politicians and parties that have caused the deaths of innocent public during public uprisings, created scams related to PDS, Fuel, Students Scholarship, Teachers’ salaries, etc., but its unwillingness to support a corruption free state that BJP espoused.
And with the “Church candidate” winning the elections, the church should take moral responsibility to ensure that development is brought into the area. The NBCC and the CBCC should also be on the guard to prevent the NPF from allying with the BJP or the NDPP which it had vehemently termed as Anti Christian party.
Another very diabolical act done during the election was that of the conspiracy orchestrated by the opposing parties to defeat the purpose of our BJP candidate. Our failure to win had nothing to do with a lack in the capabilities of our candidate.
We therefore urge BJP at the state and the centre to pay special attention to the area to protect the interest of the party workers in the area. Our candidate Kevechutso Doulo is a dynamic leader and we have total faith in his leadership. We believe that he can play a pivotal role in strengthening the presence of the BJP in the Tenyiami areas.
The above is an abridged version of the press release issued by the BJP Phek District unit and issued by its President, Mr Nucutso C. Ruho