Is Tinubu/ Shettima ticket a threat to Christians? – Part 2
Those that doubt that this can be achieved should consider the innovative and unique power-sharing arrangement between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon and read up on what is known as the ‘Lebanese formula’.
After their prolonged and horrendous civil war which raged through the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s this negotiated formula and settlement, which was enshrined in their constitution, brought relative peace to that hitherto beleaguered nation.
For the record, no-one can undermine or eliminate Christianity in Nigeria even if they wanted to do so and neither is anyone trying. Our faith teaches us that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church” so why panic? It teaches us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind”, so why the fear? It teaches us that “Christ in us our hope in glory”, so why worry? It teaches us that “the battle belongs to the Lord” and that “all things work for good for those who love Him”, so why the doubt? It teaches us that “the righteous shall live by faith”, so why the lack of faith? We are too big and too strong to harbour such fears and our God is too mighty.
Bola Tinubu’s incoming Government will be one of the most liberal, rational, reasonable, compassionate, caring, progressive and Christian-friendly administrations in the history of our country and we have absolutely nothing to fear. I can vouch for that and I am prepared to stick my neck out for it.
If it had been otherwise I would have been the one to lead the charge against him and neither would I hold anything back because my faith is everything to me.
In addition to this, consider the following.
For the last 62 years the people of the South West more than any other have stood by those that are known as the Northern minorities which include the Northern Christians. It seems strange that when it is time for them to reciprocate that support, gesture and affection and stand with a son of the South West for the presidential election some of these people are opposing him on the grounds that he has chosen a Muslim as his running mate.
They have shouted about domination at the hands of the Fulani since time immemorial but today they are saying they would rather support yet another Fulani for President than a Yoruba. Does this make sense? Is there not a contradiction there?
For the first time in the history of our country the key players and ruling party in the core North, including the Fulani, has not only agreed but insisted on conceding power to the South and it is a few Northern Christians that are now opposing this on religious grounds?
Is it because Tinubu is a Muslim?
When some advocated for power shift to the South they never said it must shift to a Southern Christian and neither would that have made sense.
They said it must shift to the South, whether Christian or Muslim and that is the right and proper thing to do. We must rise above these petty differences and attempt to unite our people rather than divide them.
A nation that has 20 Christian Governors and only 16 Muslim ones cannot be Islamised and neither will it allow for the oppression, killing and elimination of Northern Christians from the political and economic system.
A country in which a Chirstian/Christian ticket just won a Governorship election in Osun state which is 50 % Muslim cannot be Islamised and neither will it allow for the oppression, killing and elimination of Northern Christians from the political and economic system.
A country in which every single Governor in the South, since the Osun election, is a Christian cannot be islamised and neither will it allow for the oppression, killing and elimination of Northern Christians from the political and economic system.
A country led by a man like BAT who, though a Muslim, has as many Christians as he does Muslims in his family, including his wife who is a Pastor in a Pentecostal Church cannot be Islamised and neither will it allow for the oppression, killing and elimination of Northern Christians from the political and economic system.
And as a matter of fact there is no historical record of Yoruba Muslims hiding in bushes and forests and killing Northern or Southern Christians, so why the fear and hate? Why the attempt to generate panic and hysteria?
Why the suggestion that under BAT, Christians are faced with an existential threat? Why the misrepresentation of intention? Why the demonisation?
Was it not BAT that gave Lagos state public schools back to the Christian Missions? Was it not him that gave more land to some of the largest Pentecostal mega-Churches to build on than any other Governor in the history of Lagos? Was it not him that ensured that the last two Governors of Lagos state were practising Pentecostal Christians?
Was it not him that ensured that for the last two presidential elections a Pentecostal Christian Pastor from the South West that he nominated was elected as our Vice President? I could go on and on. We must rise above this faith-baiting and fear-mongering and instead seek to build bridges of unity, peace and harmony.
It is not about having a Christian or a Muslim leader, it is about having a righteous leader that will protect the interests of every Nigerian regardless of their faith. A Tinubu/Shettima Presidency would do precisely that. Of this I have no doubt. God bless Nigeria.
Fani-Kayode is a former Minister of Aviation.