….. Nigeria Not Ripe To Have President, VP Of Same Faith.
As reactions continued to trail the choice of Senator Kashim Shettima as the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the 2023 election, Catholic bishops have vowed to make their own choice in the poll.
Shettima, a Muslim, was announced on Sunday as the running mate to the presidential candidate of the party, Bola Tinubu, a fellow Muslim.
The Christian community in Nigeria has condemned the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket, saying for the sake of balance, a Christian should have been picked by the ruling party as its vice-presidential candidate.
Hotmedia.ng had reported that the former Borno State Governor, Shettima was announced as the running mate to the Lagos politician on Sunday in Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home town in Katsina State, confirming rumours that the party would use a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
But reacting, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, described the choice of APC Muslim-Muslim ticket as unfortunate.
Archbishop Kaigama maintained that Nigeria as a country was not ripe for a same faith Presidential ticket.
“When you decide that only one religion will produce the major actors, excluding others who will become like strangers, it would not be fair and just. For the sake of religious sensitivity in a place like Nigeria, it is good that we have a balance so that we become like one big family,” he said.
Similarly, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev Hassan Kukah said it was up to Nigerians to decide if they want a Muslim-Muslim Nigerian leadership or not in 2023.
Politics Nigeria quoted Bishop Kukah to have said, “This is what you call team selection and everybody will choose depending on what they think will give them a fair chance. So, people will take responsibility for the choices they have made. For me, it is not something to lose sleep over.
“If people feel unhappy with the kind of choices that have been made, that is why we are democrats, you can’t force it. We outsiders cannot force a choice of any candidate.
“It is now left for you to look at the choices that have been made. And there is no guarantee that all Christians will vote for Christians and all Muslims will vote for Muslims.”
The Director of Social Communication, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev Fr. Mike Umoh, described the ‘Muslim-Muslim’ ticket as ‘Insensitive’.
“We have made our stance and made it clear. Muslim/Muslim ticket doesn’t make sense; it is unhealthy and insensitive for now,” he said.