The Christian Association of Nigeria warned on any attempt to field a presidential and vice presidential candidates of same religion by any political party in Nigeria, citing religious balance.
In a statement signed by Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, CAN’s National Secretary, the association predicted that it would be failure on the part of the party that ignores its advice.
CAN stated that it shows the politicians are not considerate of the nation’s cohesion.
The statement partly reads:
“The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has once again warned the leading political parties to bury the thought of Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket in 2023. We want to unequivocally state that it is a threat to the fragile peace and unity of Nigeria.
“We congratulate the Presidential Candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Labour Party (LP):Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi respectively, including other parties that are participating in the forthcoming Presidential election.
“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. Only God knows the number of Christians that have been killed in the last seven years with no one apprehended or prosecuted.”
The association further stated that there is no political party that has “no great, good and patriotic Christians” who can lead the nation not to talk of being the Vice President as some mischievous people are trying to say.”
“If merit and competence are used as yardsticks, we have many qualified Christians in all the 774 Local Government Areas of this country,” CAN stated.
CAN maintained that any political party that fields Muslim/Muslim ticket does so at it’s own peril, adding that it will make a categorical statement in the event the warning is not heeded.
The statement further reads:
“Imagine how bad it will be if we have two Muslims in power? The extant Nigerian Constitution promotes religious balance.
“The Presidential running mate for the APC presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu 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. Anything contrary to the above means that the leadership of these political parties do not bother about the unity of this entity called 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 runningmate 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 runningmate 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. “