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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 northern states and the federal capital territory (FCT) has kicked against the All Progressives Congress (APC) choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 presidential election.
On July 10, Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the APC, announced Kashim Shettima, former governor of Borno state, as his running mate.
The development has, however, elicited mixed reactions from Nigerians.
In an interview with journalists on Monday in Kaduna, Sunday Oibe, secretary-general of northern CAN, said the decision by the APC is insensitive, adding that the Christian body will “not lose sleep” over APC’s choice as there are other political parties to consider.
“As an organisation, we are not losing sleep over the decision of a political party which has no regard for our diversity and the ethno-religious tensions threatening our fragile peace and existence as a country,” Oibe said.
“As a Christian leader, I will not support Christian-Christian ticket. I have many of my Muslims friends who are opposed to Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“People are free to vote for candidates or parties of their choice. Any politician who has no regard for the diversity of the country does so at his or her peril.”
He also the “competence and capacity” reasons given by the APC candidate on choosing a Muslim-Muslim ticket are “untenable”, adding that there are competent people in every religious and ethnic group in Nigeria.
“The situation of things during the Abiola/Kingibe Muslim-Muslim ticket in 1993 is not the same with the current realities on the ground today. It will be naive for anybody to think Nigeria is still the same as it was in 1993,” he said.
“The type of leaders Nigerians are looking for are people who can live up to their responsibilities. Nigerians need leaders who will solve the myriads of challenges facing the country, not leaders who are complacent when people are dying — a leader that will solve the problems of insecurity, power and electricity and create jobs.
“We don’t want religious bigots who will promote nepotism over issues of fairness and equality. We need a leader who will be fair to all.”
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