Emmanuel Thomas l Thursday, June 16, 2022
LAGOS, Nigeria – The Catholic Church in Nigeria has cautioned political parties in Nigeria against fielding a Muslim Muslim ticket, warning that to do otherwise is nothing but 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.
The Catholic Church issued the warning based on the present glaring crisis and division in the nation. In the statement signed by Secretary General of the church, Very Rev. Fr. Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi.
The statement added that 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”, the Church said, he said stressing that it is disheartening to observe that the conduct of most of our politicians seem to be going from bad to worse as 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!”, the Catholic Church warned.
It added that 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.
“Finally, 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 said.