Former speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara has tackled the Presidential candidate of All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on his insistence on the same faith ticket despite the cry against it.
He said the attempt to foist such ticket on Nigerians will end in spectacular failure as both Christians and Muslims have kicked against it.
Dogara made the submission while addressing Christian leaders at the Meet the Church Summit which took place in Abuja on Tuesday, September 20.
He spoke on the topic, “role of the church in nation building”
According to him, Nigeria is the “greatest Islamo-Christian nation on earth”
He noted however that the APC has undermined that reality.
No divided people ever built any civilization
Dogara said, “In a manner that negated the fundamentals of nation building, such as shared identity, values and visions, the APC adopted the same faith ticket in a country that has never attained nationhood.
“In their convoluted posturing, they have placed state-building ahead of nation-building; a task never before achieved in history. And we need no seer to tell us that such endeavor is guaranteed to end in spectacular failure. No divided people have ever built any civilization.”
The church according to Dogara is not alone in condemning the same faith ticket.
“Other prominent Islamic clerics and Muslim leaders have also spoken in the same light. It is a good omen that both Christian and Muslim elites are not complacent over this matter.
“To this end, it will be easy to generate the needed elite consensus that is key to nation-building. All nations are built by elite consensus while all countries that failed at nation-building were destroyed by elite complacency.”The former speaker said.
The lawmaker who had earlier kicked against the decision of APC to have the same faith ticket said however that the church alone can’t fight the battle against injustice.
He said the church will need to build networks consisting of peoples of all faiths.
“Granted that the Christians and Muslims will always disagree on some issues, there are, however, many things over which we are agreeable. It is enough to forge ahead with the task of nation-building based on those common issues we agree on.
“It must be noted that just as Muslims alone cannot build a nation out of Nigeria so also Christians alone cannot. We have to work together on “nation formations”.
He stated that the church’s role must entail that it stands with the oppressed adding however that such decision will come at a cost
“Our faith requires us to stand for others the way we want others to stand for us in tandem with the golden command to, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” given by Jesus Christ himself who is the author and finisher of our faith.”
The church should be united
He however said the church can only be relevant in nation-building if it is united.
“We all know that Jesus Christ did not create nor is a member of any denomination. Jesus Christ is not even a Christian that is why you can’t blame him for some of the evils perpetrated in the name of Christianity.
“A Christian is someone who is Christlike and Jesus Christ cannot be Christlike: he is simply the Christ. If unity is not important, why did Paul the Apostle charge us to, “make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace”
While making an allusion to the story of the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis, Dogara stated, “ God said, “if they are left alone nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them”. God had to confuse their language and scatter them over all the earth to stop them.”
A United Church in his words “is an indomitable Church. If you ever found a united Church, you have found a Church for whom nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them because God said so and he is too holy to lie”
Going forward, Dogara urged his listeners to ensure they vote.
“it is unchristian for the church to waste anything given to us from above as we own nothing except what is given to us from above”
He said “Every Christian must see his vote as talents given to him by God to trade with and as seeds that must not be wasted. We do not even have the liberty to preserve our vote just like the wicked and lazy servant did to his talent.
“We must cast the vote in a fertile ground i.e, the platform we know can win the election and nothing less or else. After all, is it in vain that it is said that Waste is worse than loss?”
He told the church leaders that the only way “we can build a nation out of Nigeria is by doing the right things.
“A united, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous Nigeria is possible if we go to work. We can start building that Nigeria of our dreams if we don’t waste our votes in the next election circle.”
Story by Gbenga Osinaike