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2023: Same faith tickets not healthy for Nigeria’s unity, cleric warns

By Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna
03 October 2022   |   4:00 am
In a renewed outcry against the same faith ticket adopted by All Progressives Congress (APC), President of The United Church of Christ in Nigeria (UCCN), also known as HEKAN, Rev. Amos Kiri, has challenged Nigerians to rise up to preserve...

Rev. Amos Kiri

In a renewed outcry against the same faith ticket adopted by All Progressives Congress (APC), President of The United Church of Christ in Nigeria (UCCN), also known as HEKAN, Rev. Amos Kiri, has challenged Nigerians to rise up to preserve the unity of the country, describing the decision as a “monster capable of destroying the nation.”

The cleric spoke while delivering a welcome address at a pastoral ordination service for eight catechists elevated to Reverends, yesterday, in Kaduna.

Kiri explained: “Nigeria is a secular state and still remains a secular state. No one religion is superior over the other. One of Nigeria’s biggest challenges is religion. Many people have used religion to divide us along imaginary lines. The Nigerian constitution guarantees freedom of association and religion for every Nigerian. Our politicians have turned religion into an avenue to promote one religion over and above the other.

“The trend of Muslim-Muslim ticket is not going to augur well to us as a nation. Nigeria has two main religions – Christianity and Islam. We have lived together as a nation tolerating each other, not minding which religion one belongs to. Suddenly, this monster called Muslim-Muslim ticket has stirred unhealthy debate across the nation.

“What this choice seems to depict is that no single Christian is good enough to serve as a vice president in Nigeria or deputy governor in states where the two main religions are dominant. The decision by some political parties to field Muslin-Muslim as candidates, to my mind, will not be healthy for us as a nation, which is secular in nature.

“Therefore, the Muslim-Muslim ticket is unacceptable because it does not encourage inclusivity and diversity for which the founding fathers of this great country encouraged right from the beginning. Any arrangement that does not respect who we are as a people is a threat to our unity and must be discouraged and discarded.”

Speaking further, the HEKAN president observed that fielding candidates who are “incompetent for leadership” based on religious lines can never bring about peace, unity and dividends of democracy that Nigerians are yearning for.

“I want to use this medium to call on our political leaders at all levels to always be mindful of our secular status as a nation,” he pleaded.