Sunday, 10 July 2022 06:55

2023: Muslim-Muslim ticket insensitive, insult to Christian sensibilities - Taiwo Akinola

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Taiwo Akinola Taiwo Akinola

Taiwo Akinola, presiding Bishop of Rhema Christian Church,

Otta, Ogun State, addressed a pressed conference on Saturday, July 9, 2022 on the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket in the approaching presidential contest. Here are excerpts from the address of the respected Christian cleric:

“As we gradually approach another election year, it is understandable that political activities are also getting louder and clumsier by the day. We find it needful, therefore, to bring to the front burners of our political discourse certain important views for our considerations.

“Christians are positive necessities in the communities, and as such, we must be involved in the socio-political development of our nation. Without fear of overemphasis or contradictions, we hereby urge all patriotic Nigerians to get their PVCs, and be ready to vote as of a civic duty at the appropriate time. We also encourage those who have the calling to go into politics among us not to hold back.

“Furthermore, we affirm that Church leaders, and indeed all Christians, have the responsibility to lend their voices to speak for the truth against the social issues of corruption, nepotism, ethnocentrism, political deceit, injustices, impunity and such other ills that are prevalent in the land (Proverbs 31:8).

“As long as we keep quiet, our political leaders will continue to think that nobody knows what is right, or that they are a special specie with privileges to live above the law, whereas they are also mortals.

“It goes without saying that no government can be better than the character of its leaders, which is the real crux of our national malady (Genesis 26:4-5). But, as the salt and the light of the world, we cannot afford to keep mute in the face of these pervading evils. Hence, the need for this press release by this august body of Christian leaders, ministers and workers, the Christ Global Network, Inc.”

Same-Faith Ticket Will Further Entrench National Division

“We are all aware that the idea of a mono-faith candidature is being contemplated in some leading political circles presently. But, as freeborn and bonafide citizens of this great country, Nigeria, we are deeply concerned about the potential consequences of such an arrangement. Thus, we hereby speak up against it before it becomes too late.

“It is a fact that political calculations sometimes necessitate very difficult decisions, but we strongly advise all major political parties, APC, PDP, LP, NNPP etc., and their candidates that same-faith candidature is certainly not a route to take at all in today’s Nigeria, where religion is one of the major dividing lines, alongside ethnicity and region.

“For instance, it should be well taken that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would unwittingly fuel a further cry against the real or preconceived allegations of an Islamization agenda, and furthermore exacerbate our prevalent political and religious crisis. It is just commonsensical and a patriotic appreciation of Nigeria’s religious diversity, therefore, to totally avoid it.

Even our perennial or present nation-wide security challenges are tainted with religious coloration in this country. We use this medium to strongly urge all major political parties in Nigeria, therefore, to please strike a balance along religious lines for united and peaceful co-existence in our land.

“It is a very sad commentary on our kind of politics in this clime that some of our politicians are only thinking of strategies to win elections, not minding if they lose the country in the end.

Why should anyone or any political entity think of complicating our already bad, age-long issues, just because you want to win an election? Peace and unity in Nigeria should be the priority of all Nigerians, not winning elections at all costs.

Besides, the level of distrust and suspicion between the diverse regional and religious groups in Nigeria has presently become very high as to make any same-faith candidature unwholesome, immoral and unwise for any political party and/or presidential candidate to play with.

“I must say that we are very much relieved and highly enthused to note that quite a number of fair-minded Muslims and other patriotic Nigerians have equally spoken out plainly to condemn any Muslim-Muslim ticket contemplation, knowing that such could not be in the best interest of our dear country Nigeria. And, it is a wise thing to do for all of us to commend and to emulate this gesture.

“We can say it without fear of contradictions that some of those pushing this inconsiderate agenda are doing so for their selfish ends only, not because they wish their candidates or even the nation well. To my mind, no patriotic Nigerian will vote for an arrangement that could spell doom for the country. Moreover, it is even a crass assumption to think that any normal Christian will even contemplate to vote for an Islamic mono-candidature in today’s Nigeria.

“With all these, our candid advice is that all political parties should jettison all MUSLIM-MUSLIM or CHRISTIAN-CHRISTIAN permutations. It is insensitive, immoral, unjust, grossly disrespectful to the faith of others, conspicuously suspicious, and tendencious to violence, and we pray it fails.

“We venture to suggest that any presidential candidate that succumbs to a mono-faith ticket will find out too late that he has unwittingly increased the numerical strength of his opponents, and has equally invigorated zestful anger in the hearts of other ordinary citizens in Nigeria.

“Truth is, on merits, no region or religion has the monopoly of qualified people who have the capabilities to serve as presidents or running mates to presidential candidates. Everyone in Nigeria is important, and every religious choice is honored in our secularist constitution. What is not acceptable in the current political permutations is the entrenched domination of one over the other.

“A situation whereby a certain region or group considers it as its right to rule perpetually, and others are stylishly played out from the scheme of things, should be called out what it is — insensitive, condescending and brazenly disrespectful — and should be  tipped  by all for failure, ab initio.

“In particular reference to our present volatile situation on many fronts, and given the fact that the current presidency is headed by a Northern-Fulani-Muslim, it is just fair for all respectable political parties to do a South/North candidacy, combined with Christian/Moslem or Muslim/Christian pairing as we prepare for 2023 elections.

“This ought to be done in order to encourage the spirit of justice, fairness and equity, which are the natural bonds of our common humanity, and are boldly enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution as well as in all our major religious books.

“We know full well that politics is really not a game of morality. But, at the same time, it should not become a throne-game of deceit, manipulations, indecency, betrayal, untrustworthiness, etc. More so that Nigeria is a deeply religious nation, we must allow our national life to constantly reflect some of the things we have read in our religious books, if we are not to be seen as a wholesome bunch of hypocrites.

For the avoidance of doubt, Nigeria is a multi-religious country of about 220 million people. Hence, in order to be just to all the citizens and be seen to be so, noble-hearted politicians should see it as a moral duty to continue to avoid a mono-faith candidature, most especially at the presidential level. And, as earlier emphasized, this will help to mitigate the negative effects of the apparent religious sentiments prevalent in the country,

“In conclusion, we advise that all our political decisions must be fair and just, henceforth. Democracy must be all-inclusive. Christians and people of other faiths, Southern and Northern regions must be duly recognized and carried along in our public political spaces in the interest of a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

“Moreover, as year 2023 draws closer, political parties should strictly charge their followers to avoid any form of thuggery, hooliganism and malevolence. Supporters should be taught to canvass for their preferred candidates with decorum rather than trading in insults and curses at the slightest provocation. Please, let’s add civility to this thing. Let’s be wise and act right because we have no other country we can truly call ours.”

Signed:

Bishop Taiwo Akinola,

Presbyter, CGN Inc.


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2 comments

  • Comment Link Olusola Ihimodu Monday, 11 July 2022 14:06 posted by Olusola Ihimodu

    Thank you sir, please tell them all the truth.Abiola-Kingibe ticket, did they get there? NO. This Muslim -muslim will not fly too

  • Comment Link Iwalola Olakanle Sunday, 10 July 2022 22:13 posted by Iwalola Olakanle

    Thank you sir, for this urgent and powerful message to all our politicians. They failed to understand that there's no faith that does not have qualified and competent people. But selfishness and arrogance will blur their senses. This warning must be heeded immediately.