· Seek Buhari’s intervention to avoid havoc
-CAN vows to mobilize against APC
The choice of Moslem Presidential candidate in the person of His Excellency Ahmed Bola Tinubu and a Moslem Vice presidential running mate in the person of Kashim Shettima has stirred a row within the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) that may metamorphose into a waterloo that will sink the party.
This is because Christian leaders of the party from the 19 Northern states have raised their voice and cried foul, pointing out that Nigeria of today and 2023 is not same as 1993. They maintained that at this moment of national peril what should be paramount is national unity” which cannot be achieved with the APC arrangement.
The APC Christian leaders who met in Abuja on July 11 to deliberate on the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket and its implications to the nation which has led to the mass resignation of high profile Christians from the APC. They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter in order to ensure justice, equity and fair play in the interest of peace and unity of the country and to avoid disintegration.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting jointly signed by Prof. Doknan Sheni, Dr Ishaya Gbanka and Prof Saidi Ibrahim, the leaders contended that President Muhammedu Buhari as one who fought to keep Nigeria one, should not allow fanatics on both sides to wreck on what remains of the tapestry that binds us as a people.
The communiqué reads in part, “the meeting noted with concern the resignation of some high profile Christians from the APC across the States of the Federation, as a consequence with more to follow unless concerted efforts are made to redeem our party from hate mongers and those who seek to exploit religion to perpetuate their self-interests as opposed to national interest.
“After extensive deliberations, the meeting came to the following conclusions: That as Christians within the APC, we cannot in all fairness to our consciences and faith, go to our various constituencies to campaign for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“That Nigeria is a multi-religious and a constitutional democracy; and NOT a theocracy with religion as a major national fault line which cannot be whimsically manipulated without dire political consequences on our peaceful co-existence as a people.
“That the current Nigerian environment and political atmosphere is different from what occurred in 1993 and therefore a Muslim-Muslim ticket is
unacceptable. It doesn’t take the smart to know that the Abiola/Kingibe victory in 1993 turned out to be a pyrrhic victory as there was never a President Abiola or Vice President Kingibe. Is that what we want a repeat of in 2023?
“The selection of a Muslim running mate is a display of crass insensitivity to the complexity of modern Nigeria and the entire Church. It is also a betrayal of the advocates of unity and peaceful co-existence with our Muslim brothers, including notable Imams who had forewarned the party and the candidate from traveling that treacherous route.
“That the APC has always come under the suspicion of the Church, as pursuing an islamization agenda. Hence the various labels of the APC as: Islamic Movement, Islamic brotherhood, janjaweed party, Boko Haram party etc. Now with all the positions in the hands of our Muslim brothers, it would take ingenious mendacity to prove otherwise.
“That if the APC said a Muslim-Muslim ticket would be injurious to the health of our nation in 2015, has that situation therefore radically changed to make Muslim-Muslim ticket good for the health of our nation in 2023, if we may ask?
“That the rejection of a Muslim-Muslim ticket by Christians would undermine the electoral fortunes of the APC and its candidates across all states and constituencies where Christians enjoy numerical advantage. By so doing, APC has recklessly thrown its Christian candidates under the bus across the nation.
“That considering the fact that PMB, the National Chairman of the party, Deputy Chairman North, President of the Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives; and now both the presidential candidate and his running mate etc are all Muslims and assuming that such lopsidedness does not violate S.14 (3) of the Constitution; if this was to be reversed so that all these were Christians, can any contentrous Muslim in Nigena attempt to sell such patently unjust and unfair arrangements to the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria?”
Meanwhile, Nigerian Christians under the auspices of Christian Association of Nigeria have vowed to mobilize against APC presidential candidate in 2023 for what they described as total disregard for Christians in Nigeria.
According to an officer of the religious group who doesn’t want his name in print, Tinubu has by his action shown total hatred and intolerant for Christians.