Christians of northern extraction in the All Progressives Congress (APC) have described the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket by the ruling party as an attempt to Islamise Nigeria.
“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, etc.
“Now with all the positions in the hands of our Muslim brothers, it would take ingenious mendacity to prove otherwise,” the APC Christian caucus stated on Tuesday.
In a communique issued in Abuja, the Christian politicians, who are from the 19 northern states of the country within the APC, said they cannot campaign for the same religion ticket in their various constituencies ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
“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 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,” they said.
APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, a Muslim from the South, had on Sunday announced Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim, former governor and serving Senator from Borno state as his running mate.
In the communique signed by its Chairman, Doknan Sheni, and Secretary, General Ishaya Bauka, the group said the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the party was unacceptable.
They noted with concern the resignation of high-profile Christians from the APC across the country as a consequence of the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
While observing that the current political setting of the country is different from that of 1993 when MKO Abiola and Kingibe ran for political positions, the Christian group stated that Nigeria runs a constitutional democracy and not a theocracy.
“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 nor vice President Kingibe. Is that what we want a repeat of in 2023?” the group queried.
According to them, “The selection of a Muslim running mate is a display of crass insensitivity to the complexity of modern Nigeria and the entire Church.”
The aggrieved members said the choice was 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 travelling that treacherous route.”
They added 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 a numerical advantage. By so doing APC has recklessly thrown its Christian candidates under the bus across the nation.”
Source: People’s Gazette