The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties, to resist the temptation of a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 general elections, saying it would backfire.
The National President of CAN, Dr Samson Ayokunle, gave the warning on Sunday at the interdenominational church service to mark the 2022 Democracy Day celebration held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
Ayokunle, represented by the President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and Founder of Sword of The Spirit Ministries International, Bishop Francis Wale-Oke, warned that such a step would be disastrous for the nation.
There were reports that the APC and its candidate, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, might settle for a Muslim-Muslim ticket, given the party’s difficulty in finding a Christian from the North, who would be acceptable enough to boost the party’s chances in the election.
This is as Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, said there was nothing wrong with a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket and that competency should rather be prioritised.
Speaking on the theme ‘More than Conquerors’, Ayokunle noted that any party that wishes to produce the next president must not undermine the Christian community.
He said, “While I congratulate the candidates, I must sound this warning; please do not fly a Muslim-Muslim ticket. It would not fly. It will not stand. Rather, it would set the nation against each other.
“The candidate who will emerge is the one who works with the church. Please, do not alienate the church. If you embrace equity, fairness and justice, the Nigerian electorate will reward you with their votes at the polls and they will give you their support.”
Also speaking, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, said the nation is moving to prosperity as all things are working towards the emergence of a stronger, unified, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
He said a day like this, set aside to commemorate Nigeria’s transition from military rule to democratic governance, allows citizens to reflect on how far they have come as a people.
“It invites sobriety and gratitude. It allows us to remember the decades characterized by a lack of freedom, suspicion and uncertainty, and calls to mind the prayers, faith and courageous actions that brought us to a turning point in 1999, one accompanied by hope and promise.
“And so in celebrating our Democracy Day, in line with biblical and historical traditions, we assure ourselves that the hands of God are never too short to deliver and that His grace will always prevail for our good.
“Equally important is that we also assure ourselves, that no matter how challenging the situation or moment might be, there is always enough God-given strength within us, as a people, to surmount them,” he said.