The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned party flag bearers in the 2023 elections not to fall into the temptation of picking running mates of same religion with them.
The association In a statement on Friday May 10 signed by its National Secretary, Barr Bade Daramola warned that such decision will not augur well for the nation’s polity.
‘Parties should 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.’ , the body states .
While congratulating the flag bearers of all the parties, the association called for a balance of both religions
‘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.’
CAN said it would make a categorical statement in the event its warning is not heeded.
The Christian body counselled further, 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 Babagana 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.’
There is no party according to CAN that does not have qualified people across religious and ethnic divides .
The body recalled that it cried in vain to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to break the dominance of the security architecture with people of same faith’
It added that ‘ 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.’
CAN argued that it is not true that Nigerians don’t care about religion when it comes to religion and tribe once party candidates are competent and credible
The Christian body posits, ‘we dare APC to pick its Presidential running mate from the South and PDP pick its own from the North and see what follows.
“When the late sage, Papa Obafemi Awolowo picked Chief Philip Umeadi a fellow Christian and Southerner, as his running mate 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.’ CAN counselled.