The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned political parties in the country against heating up the polity with either Christian-Christian or Muslim- Muslim presidential ticket for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
CAN’s President, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle gave the warning on Thursday in a parley of the Association’s leadership with the Deputy Senate President, Senator Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege in his office at the National Assembly complex.
TheFact Nigeria reports that already an Islamic organization, Muslim Rights Concern( MURIC) has reiterated its preference for a presidential candidate from the Yoruba Muslims.
According to MURIC, no Yoruba Muslim has ever occupied Aso Rock either as a president or vice president since independence in 1960 whereas three Yoruba Christians have enjoyed that luxury.
However, his eminence said, “We equally want to urge you on presidency that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered. We don’t want Christian/Christian ticket nor Muslim/Muslim ticket.
“Concerning 2023 elections, we would admonish you politicians not to heat up the polity in any way as the campaigns are opened by guiding the utterances that would be coming out of you. There is already tension in the land because of insecurity.
Speaking further, Dr Ayokunle expressed dissatisfaction and disappointment with the menace of the economic downturn and its consequences on the polity and called for an enabling environment to cushion the effects on the people.
“Sir, the church is worried about inflation in the land which has sent many people out of business. Unemployment is at unimaginable level. While we appreciate the efforts of the legislative assemblies in calling the attention of the executive to this, more robust and daring efforts are required to nip these things in the bud.
“Enabling environment should be created for investments and incentives or tax exceptions given to local manufacturers on some goods, he said.
The CAN President who commended the Federal Government on the management of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic also warns against forcing the people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
His words, “We appreciate the Federal Government, especially the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for the way this stubborn virus has been managed. We want to urge the government to continue to encourage Nigerians to take the vaccine but never to force or coerce people into doing so, “he said.
In his response, the Deputy Senate President registered his appreciation for the visit and called for more of such interaction with a view to bridging the gap between the National Assembly and the Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN).
He also appreciated the interest and the support of the Association in the efforts of the government to promote peace and unity and in its war against the pandemic.
He tasked the Church leadership to encourage people to take the vaccine to reduce the menace if the government should not force it on them.
Those who were in the delegation included the General Secretary of CAN, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, the Chairman, CAN Northcentral who also doubled as the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev Dr Israel Adelani Akanji, the CAN’s Legal Director, Barrister Comfort Chigbue, the Director, National Issues and the CAN Chairman Lagos State, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, and the Director, Education, Youth and Women’s Development, Barrister Omonuwa Ogiemudia.
Others are Barrister Inoru Anna Preye (CAN, Bayelsa State), Barrister Ibrahim Isa Babangida (CAN, Katsina State), the Special Assistant (Media& Communication to His Eminence), Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the CAN’s Media Officer, Isaac Macrock, and the CAN Security officer, Captain Bolade Ogidan.