By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned the presidential candidates of leading political parties in the country against choosing running mates of same religion as them.
In a statement issued by its National Secretary, Joseph Daramola, on Friday, CAN said if presidential aspirants pick running mates of same religion, it would be “a threat to the fragile peace and unity of Nigeria.”
“Any party that tries same religion ticket will fail. This is not 1993. Even when we have a joint Muslim/Christian ticket, the church still goes through hell. Only God knows the number of Christians that have been killed in the last seven years with no one apprehended or prosecuted. Imagine how bad it will be if we have two Muslims in power? The extant Nigerian Constitution promotes religious balance.
“So, if any political party wants to try Muslim/Muslim ticket, it’s at its own peril. CAN is only forewarning but will make a categorical statement in the event our warning is not heeded.
“The Presidential running mate for the APC presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu should be a Christian from the North, Atiku’s running mate should be a Christian from the South while Obi should choose his own among the Muslims from the North,” the statement read.
CAN further explained that if political parties choose running mates of the same religion as their presidential candidates, it would mean the leadership of the parties “do not bother about the unity of this entity called Nigeria.”
“Those who are planning Muslim/Muslim ticket should also find out what was the outcome of MKO Abiola and Kingibe ticket in 1993. If they try Muslim/Muslim ticket this time around, the outcome will be worse because our fault lines are very visible.
“There is no party that has no great, good and patriotic Christians who can preside over the affairs of this nation not to talk of being the Vice President as some mischievous people are trying to say.
“To those arguing that people do not care about the religions of their leaders once they are competent and credible, we dare APC to pick its Presidential running mate from the South and PDP pick its own from the North and see what follows.
“Our politicians should be doing what will unite us instead of what will further polarise the country,” the Christian body added.