CHRISTIANS of Northern extraction in the All Progressive Congress (APC) have said they can no longer campaign for the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, because of his choice of a Muslim running mate.
They made this position known in a communiqué issued to journalists, on Tuesday, following an emergency meeting of the group in Abuja where the issue of the religious colouration of the APC’s presidential ticket and its implication for the nation was on the front burner.
According to the communiqué jointly signed by Prof. Doknan Sheni (Chairman) and General Ishaya Bauka (Secretary), the group explained that Tinubu’s selection of a Muslim running mate had exasperated the Christians in the North, and portrayed the APC as a party that is insensitive to their yearnings.
It warned that if the selection of Senator Kashim Shettima as the party’s vice presidential resident candidate is not reversed before July 15, there would be serious and grave consequences.
The communiqué read, “The christian politicians in the nineteen (19) Northern States within APC met in Abuja to deliberate on the issue of the party’s Muslim – Muslim president and vice president candidates and the implications for the nation.
“The meeting decided as follows: that as Christians within APC, we cannot in all fairness to our consciences and our faith go to our various constituencies to campaign for a Muslim – Muslim ticket.
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“Nigeria is a multi religious and a constitutional democracy and NOT a theocracy. The current political atmosphere of the nation is different from what occurred in 1993 and therefore a Moslem-Moslem ticket is unacceptable.
“The selection of a Moslem vice presidential candidate portrayed insensitivity to the Christians in the Nation.
“The fear of the Christians in the north and the nation in general is that the APC party will be viewed as an Islamic party, and that the Muslim – Muslim ticket was not possible in 2015, why should it be possible in 2023?
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“More so, that we are apprehensive that the person picked might have had a hand in the Chibok girls’ saga and other terror activities.
“Muslim – Muslim ticket would undermine the election chances of Christians candidates in APC in the various states in the North.
“The Christians in the north and the whole nation are highly aggravated, considering that the chairman of the party is a Muslim, deputy chairman (North) is a Muslim, the president of the Senate is a Muslim, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives are Muslims, and now both the presidential and vice presidential candidates are Muslims.
“Apart from this violating the constitution section 14 subsection 3, if this was to be reversed that all these were Christians, can any Muslim in the North be able to sell the APC presidential tickets to any Muslim Ummah?
“If this selection of a Muslim Vice President candidate is not changed, there will be serious and grave consequences.
“At this moment of national peril, what should be paramount in Nigeria is unity and not infrastructure or economy. For without unity we cannot build.
“Any party or candidate that elevates the greed of a few above the needs of the many has no business running the affairs of Nigeria.”