As presidential candidates of leading political parties begin consultations to pick their running-mates for the 2023 election, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned them to shun the thought of picking candidates of the same religion.
CAN National Secretary, Joseph Daramola, who gave the admonition on Friday in Abuja, said presidential candidates of political parties who picked either Muslim/Muslim or Christian/Christian tickets, would fail.
“CAN urges that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered in the choice of running mates of the presidential candidates.
“We do not subscribe to Christian/Christian ticket or Muslim/Muslim ticket.
“Politicians can talk politics but we have stated our view long before now. Any party that tries the same religion ticket will fail.
“This is not 1993. 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 a Muslim/Muslim ticket, it is at its peril. CAN is only forewarning, but will make a categorical statement in the event our warning is not heeded,” he explained.
While congratulating the presidential candidates of APC, Bola Tinubu; the PDP, Atiku Abubakar; the LP, Peter Obi ahead of the election, the CAN scribe added that anything contrary shows that the politicians do not bother about the unity of the nation.
Mr Daramola said those planning Muslim/Muslim tickets should remember the outcome of MKO Abiola and Kingibe ticket of 1993.
He said, even when the country still has a joint Muslim/Christian ticket under President Muhammadu Buhari, the Church still passes through hell, as a result of insecurity.
“If they try Muslim/Muslim ticket this time around, the outcome will be worse because our fault lines are very visible.
“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.
“When the late sage, Papa Obafemi Awolowo picked Chief Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu, a fellow Christian and Southerner, as his running mate in 1979, we all know the consequences of his performance in the north. Our politicians should be doing what will unite us instead of what will further polarize the country,” the CAN scribe added.