The emergence of Tinubu and Atiku from the two parties is already a sort of a Muslim/Muslim ticket kind of- NSCEA
Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA) reinstates the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who has earlier warned the two leading political parties in the country to avoid the thought of Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket in 2023.
CAN’s National Secretary, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, on Friday in Abuja said, “Such development is a threat to the fragile peace and unity of Nigeria”.
He however congratulates the presidential candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi and those of other parties participating in the forthcoming presidential election.
He said, “CAN urges that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered in the choice of running mates of the presidential candidates. We do not subscribe to Christian/Christian ticket or Muslim/Muslim ticket.
“Politicians can talk politics but we have stated our view long before now. Any party that tries same religion ticket will fail. This is not 1993. Even when we have joint Muslim/Christian ticket, the church still goes through hell.
“Imagine how bad it will be if we have two Muslims in power? The extant Nigerian constitution promotes religious balance. So, if any political party wants to try Muslim/Muslim ticket, it is at its own peril. CAN is only forewarning, but will make a categorical statement in the event our warning is not heeded.”
He urged that Tinubu’s running mate should be a Christian from the North; Atiku’s running mate should be a Christian from the South while Obi should choose his own among the Muslims from the North.
He said, “Anything contrary to the above means that the leadership of these political parties do not bother about the unity of Nigeria. Those who are planning Muslim/Muslim ticket should also find out what was the outcome of MKO Abiola and Kingibe ticket in 1993. If they try Muslim/Muslim ticket this time around, the outcome will be worse because our fault lines are very visible.
“In the ongoing dispensation, CAN leadership cried in vain to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to break the monopoly or dominance of the security architecture with people of same faith. We are all seeing the outcome now.
“It is obvious that the Nigeria of today is different from that of 1993. Our politicians should stop flouting the constitution by respecting the North and South dichotomy and religious factor.
“To those arguing that people do not care about the religions of their leaders once they are competent and credible, we dare APC to pick its Presidential running mate from the south and PDP pick its own from the north and see what follows.
“When the late sage, Papa Obafemi Awolowo picked Chief Mrs Oyibo Odinamadu, a fellow Christian and Southerner, as his running mate in 1979, we all know the consequences of his performance in the north. Our politicians should be doing what will unite us instead of what will further polarise the country.”
Speaking at NSCEA, Bishop Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya–Davies, the Secretary General of the NSCEA Elder’s Council adds, “NSCEA congratulates of the presidential candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi and those of other parties.
We know that Alhaji Atiku and.Asiwaju Tinubu or Mr. Obi will not at all promote political thuggery, intolerance and its attendant ills but will rather accept the electoral outcome even if it does not go their way as they are all civilized persons.
In fact, we appreciate them because they are a cream of highly respected Elder-statesmen with lots of experiences, exposure, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, discretion, and large hearts, and the blood of passion for their countrymen flows freely in their veins, we can attest.
However, both the electorate and security agencies would have to keenly watch out for political busybodies armed with artillery, non-Nigerian intruders, international mercenaries and worshipful fans with primitive and uncivilised political behaviours, who would be bent on misrepresenting the interest of these three presidential candidates for their own personal ego, aggrandizement and selfish political gains.
To us at NSCEA, the choice of Atiku and Tinubu by the two oldest and largest parties is already a sort of a Muslim/Muslim ticket kind of, after President Buhari’s 8 years of Northern-Muslim ticket in power, and as such all political parties should be warned and reminded not to dare attempt any President/Vice president Muslim/Muslim ticket in 2023 so as not to threaten our fragile national unity.” Adesanya-Davies added.
Already, Nigerians, especially the Christians are very disturbed and discouraged by the current horrible political climate as they are facing so much discrimination and persecution in the country. Anything contrary to that will be a path to further scatter, threaten and weaken the democracy in the country.
A Muslim/Muslim ticket means the Christian side feeling affected by marginalization, oppression, and negative government influence, uneven distribution of wealth and resources, nepotism and socio-religious bias, etc, which is very unfair.
Moreover, for instance, a Muslim-Muslim ticket will certainly mobilize the roughly 45-65 million Christian population against Atiku or Tinubu, while a Muslim-Muslim ticket will also particularly be devastating for Igbo people, estimated to be around 30 million, who already feel ignored, betrayed, and treated with contempt in terms of presidential candidacy in both major parties. It would in the same vein generate hurtful and fearful feelings of alienation and dissatisfaction among Christians in the North, the Middle Belt, and minority indigenous peoples.
Again, we would recall, Mr. Babachir Lawal has raised an alarm in an headline in the news, on “2023 Presidency: Muslim-Muslim Ticket Is Dead On Arrival – Babachir Lawal.”
Lawal, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), stated this on Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television’s “Politics Today”.
He believes it is out of place for anyone to consider such a thought considering the peculiarity of the nation’s political atmosphere which is divided along regional and religious lines.
“You can have the best ticket but if you don’t win the election, it’s a waste of time,” Lawal declared. “So, we must bear in mind that the vice (presidential candidate) is going to contribute to winning that election.”
“Extending that consideration to the Muslim-Muslim ticket, I live among the Christians, and I know that among the Christians, the question of Muslim-Muslim ticket is a no-go area; it is dead on arrival.
“Buhari himself, even in the past, had to drop this present APC presidential candidate because of the tension of a Muslim-Muslim ticket, and now to the contrary, the religious state is worsened,” he added.
“The religious divide has increased, the tribal division has increased, the regional division has increased,” said the former SGF. “So, it advisable the APC should settle for a Muslim-Christian ticket because we know the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will do that.”
We pray, may the best candidate emerge winner and may we have a hitch free election devoid of thuggery, hullabaloo and chaos as in civilized countries by the special grace of God.
It’s high time we tackled the insecurity, socio, economic, political, educational, etc,. problems decisively.
Bishop Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies
Secretary Elder’s Council
Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA).