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Catholic Church Warns Parties Against Muslim-Muslim Ticket

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The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria has warned political parties against Christian-Christian or Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket in the 2023 general election.

There are concerns on the potential Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket that some powerful voices in the All Progressives Congress are broaching for the 2023 general election.

The APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, who is a Muslim is said to be considering a Muslim from the northern region of the country as his running mate.

Catholic Church, however, said a Muslim-Muslim ticket would be “most insensitive and a tacit endorsement of the negative voices of many non-state actors” who have been threatening the country’s unity and peaceful coexistence.

It made this known via a statement issued by its Secretary-General, Rev. Fr. Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi, and Director, Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Michael Nsikak Umoh, on Tuesday.

The Catholic Church added that a Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian would have been right if there was a “mutual trust and respect for human person”.

The statement partly read: “It is disheartening to observe that the conduct of most of our politicians seem to be going from bad to worse as we witnessed a show of shame and heightened ugly culture of money politics during the recently held primaries.

“While all this is going on, we must not lose sight of the fact that the unity of this country has, over the years, been maintained by a delicate balancing of the religious and the regional.

“Even in the despotic military era, most juntas ensured a balance of the religious architecture in their regimes. For instance, we had Murtala-Obasanjo, Obasanjo-Yar’adua, Babangida-Ebitu Ukiwe, Abacha – Diya. This also applied to the heads of the various military formations and the different government parastatals like Customs, Immigrations, Finance, etc.

“Significantly, it was only during the General Muhammadu Buhari era as military Head of State (Dec 31, 1983 – Aug. 27, 1985) that we had a Muslim-Muslim military dictatorship.

“Similarly, only once did we have a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 1993 democratic elections, which featured Abiola-Kingibe ticket and turned out to be one of Nigeria’s freest and fairest elections. But that government never took off!

“Fast forward to 2022, 30 years later, some individuals have tried to suggest the Muslim-Muslim ticket for the Presidential election in a country like Nigeria that has unfortunately been badly polarized.

“Ordinarily, there would have been nothing wrong with a Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket in a democratic dispensation if there is mutual trust and respect for the human person and where the overriding desire for seeking political office is the fostering of the common good. But one cannot really say so of our country at the moment.

“With the present glaring crisis and division in the nation, a Muslim-Muslim ticket would be most insensitive and a tacit endorsement of the negative voices of many non-state actors who have been threatening this nation’s unity and peaceful coexistence without an arrest.

“Going by the Kaduna experience, we can perceive the havoc the Muslim-Muslim ticket has brought upon the predominantly Christian people of Southern Kaduna.

“We therefore strongly advise those political parties toying with divisive agenda to have a rethink by presenting a more inclusive ticket, while calling on all people of goodwill to resist this budding injustice that may be hatched against a cross section of the people.

“In pursuit of peace, it is imperative to remind everyone that all Nigerians, irrespective of creed or region, are equal; as such, there must be sensitivity in the spread of political positions without compromising competence.

“We call on all Nigerians, individually and collectively, to do everything in their power to seek and work for unity and justice, so that we may attain that peace we all desire. There is no alternative to peace!”

The Catholic Church further condemned the terror attack on St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo Statw, where many worshippers were killed.

“We cannot help but once again strongly condemn the atrocious attack and murder of our faithful in Owo inside the Church during Holy Mass on Sunday 5 June 2022, as not just an attack on humanity, but also a terrible slap on the sovereignty of Nigeria and an indictment on the Federal Government.”

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