Northern Christian leaders within the All Progressives Congress (APC) have rejected the decision of the party to field a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket in 2023.
The leaders in a statement issued after their meeting on Monday described the move as a display of crass insensitivity to the plurality of Nigeria and the existence of Christians.
The statement signed by Doknan Sheni, Ishaya Bauka and Saidu Ibrahim added that the development will make it difficult to convince Nigerians that the APC is not pursuing an Islamization agenda.
They added that as Christians, their conscience and faith will not permit them to campaign to their people when the party is presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The statement which conveyed the position of Christian leaders across the 19 northern states reads: “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.”
“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.”
They argued that the current political atmosphere in Nigeria is way different from what obtained in 1993 when Chief MKO Abiola contested with a Muslim as running mate.
“The selection of a Muslim running mate is a display of crass insensitivity to the complexity of modern Nigeria and the entire Church,” they said.
“That the APC has always come under the suspicion of the Church as pursuing an Islamisation 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.
“If the APC said a Muslim-Muslim ticket would be injurious to the health of our nation in 2015, what has 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 a numerical advantage. By so doing, APC has recklessly thrown its Christian candidates under the bus across the nation.
“We are disheartened that someone who wants to be a leader for all sections of the country is reasoning to religious exclusivism as a tool for winning an election. This will certainly result in a massive revolt against the party. Leadership is all about inclusiveness, justice and equity.”
The leaders urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter for peace and stability to prevail.
Naija News recalls the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu on Sunday unveiled former Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima as his running mate, sparking mixed reactions from Nigerians.
This article was originally published on Naija News