The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cautioned the major political parties not to consider a Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim ticket for the 2023 presidential election.
The National Secretary of the CAN, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, stated in Abuja on Friday that this development threatens Nigeria’s delicate peace and unity.
Nonetheless, he congratulated 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 all other parties participating in the upcoming presidential election.
He stated, “CAN supports the consideration of a balance of both religious practitioners in the selection of vice presidential candidates. We don’t purchase Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim tickets.
“Politicians may discuss politics, but we’ve established our position long ago.” Any political party attempting a similar religion ticket will fail. No longer is it 1993. Even with a Muslim-Christian ticket, the church continues to endure torment.
“Can you imagine how terrible it would be if we had two Muslims in charge? Existing Nigerian law encourages religious equilibrium. Therefore, any political party that attempts a Muslim/Muslim ticket does so at its own peril. CAN is simply issuing a warning, but will issue a categorical statement if our warning is disregarded.”
He advocated that Tinubu’s running partner be a Christian from the North, that Atiku’s running mate be a Christian from the South, and that Obi choose his own running mate among the North’s Muslims.
He stated, “Anything contrary to the foregoing indicates that the leadership of these political parties does not care about Nigeria’s unity. Those who are preparing a Muslim/Muslim ticket should also research the outcome of the 1993 Muslim/Muslim ticket between MKO Abiola and Kingibe. If they attempt a Muslim/Muslim ticket this time, the outcome will be harsher due to the visibility of our fault lines.
“In the current administration, CAN leadership pleaded in vain with President Muhammadu Buhari to end the monopoly or dominance of members of the same faith in the security architecture. We are all currently observing the outcome.
“It is evident that Nigeria has changed significantly since 1993. Our leaders should quit disobeying the constitution by respecting the division between the North and South and the religious aspect.
“To those who argue that people do not care about the religions of their leaders as long as they are competent and credible, we defy the APC to choose its Presidential running mate from the south and the PDP to choose its own from the north, and then observe what happens.
“When the late sage, Papa Obafemi Awolowo chose Chief Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu, a fellow Christian and Southerner, as his running mate in 1979, the results of his success in the north are well known. Instead of further polarising the country, our officials should take actions that bring us together.