Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has condemned the decision of presidential candidate Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to field a Muslim/Muslim ticket in 2023. The action threatens the unity of the country, he says.
Speaking at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)’s 12th General Assembly and Leadership Transition Ceremony, Mr Dogara declared that political permutations which do not reflect religious balance in the country are against the unity and stability of the country.
He commended CAN’s position on the matter, describing it has “Godly.”
“I want to say emphatically that CAN’s position on Muslim/Muslim ticket in this country, at this moment of national peril, is not CAN’s only position, I believe that is God’s position.
“We serve a God of justice, our God is righteous, our God is the author of diversity, and he wants as diverse as we are to come together. So, CAN’s position as much as it is a righteous position, it is the position of all of us who live righteousness, justice, diversity and are working to harness it for the advancement of this country,” he said.
Mr Dogara’s featured among a select list of northern Christian politicians that had been suggested to Mr Tinubu as his probable running mate. The presidential candidate however turned them down.
CAN leaders have said over the past month that the same faith ticket is an insult to the vast population of competent Christians in the North and across the country. It also added that the decision is insensitive and capable of setting the nation on fire.
“We are all aware that in the past weeks, the Nigerian mainstream media and the general public have been occupied with the discussions on the Muslim-Muslim ticket by the All Progressive Congress (APC), one of the political parties in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
“We clearly want to emphasize that this is not healthy for the highly diversified Nigerian space, especially in the face of the growing and alarming insecurity in our nation at the moment. Any well meaning presidential candidate will focus the all inclusive Federal Character.
“Consequently, the Nigerian Christian youth are not unaware of division and tension currently overheating an heated polity in Nigeria and, therefore, will not support or encourage any action or decision capable of further dividing and setting this nation on fire.
“Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket insults the sensitivity of Nigerians and the Christian youths are saying a big NO!” Alfred Olushola, North Central president of the body had said.
Despite public discomfort and wide criticism of the same faith ticket of the APC, its flag bearer Mr Tinubu and other stalwarts have insisted that the party is making the right choice and other marginalised groups such as the northern Christians have nothing to fear.