2023: Christians warn against politics of religion, disunity
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cautioned the leading political parties in the country against flying Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket in the 2023 election, warning that such is a threat to the fragile peace and unity of Nigeria.
CAN congratulated the presidential candidates of all the parties participating in the forthcoming general election on their emergence as the flagbearers. They include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra of Labour Party (LP).
In a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, insisted that a balance of both religions should be considered in the choice of running mates of the candidates.
He said, “We do not subscribe to Christian/Christian 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. Only God knows the number of Christians that have been killed in the last seven years with no one apprehended or prosecuted. Imagine how bad it will be if we have two Muslims in power?”
Also, the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) has advised political parties to consider Nigeria’s ethnic and religious diversities when choosing the running mates of their presidential candidates.
The Christian group, while congratulating the parties’ candidates, said the candidates should take the country’s diversity into consideration while choosing their running mates.
NOSCEF stated this in its Democracy Day message to the nation, signed by its President, Ejoga Inalegwu, an engineer, in Kaduna yesterday.
The group warned that either Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian tickets would be insensitive.
“We therefore appeal to all patriotic presidential candidates to avoid manipulative but dangerous and insensitive Muslim/Muslim ticket or Christian/Christian ticket that will further polarise the nation along religious lines when Nigerians are looking forward, with great expectations, for a new dawn, come 2023; a new era and government devoid of politics of exclusion, discrimination and injustice,” NOSCEF said.
Meanwhile, Methodist Church Nigeria has called on Christians to pray for worthy leaders to emerge in the coming elections.
In the communiqué from the 28th yearly Synod, themed ‘Prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ’, yesterday, citizens were admonished not to let financial inducement by politicians influence their conscience and deprive the nation of the true dividends of democracy.
The Church called on Christians to get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and support to those interested in partisan politics.
Synod urged the Federal Government to provide solutions to the myriad challenges faced by citizens through hunger, inflation and insecurity.
On the refusal of the current political class to restructure along the six geopolitical zones, the synod reiterated the need for the establishment of six geopolitical regional governments.
“This will help achieve the onerous responsibility of citizens enjoying economic prosperity, via even equitable distributions of national resources, which is practicable now, as it was achieved during the First Republic,” the statement reads.