The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 northern states and Abuja has reaffirmed its opposition to the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Secretary-General of the Christian body, Sunday Oibe, stated this in a statement on Sunday in Kaduna State, some months ahead of the presidential election.
“We reaffirm our stand against the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket in a multi-religious and multi-cultural society like Nigeria, particularly considering the fact that the country has never been this divided along religious and ethnic lines before,” he said.
Following his victory at the APC presidential primary, Senator Bola Tinubu – a Muslim – had announced Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate in the forthcoming poll.
Shettima, a former two-term governor of Borno State, is a Muslim from the north-east region and the lawmaker representing Borno Central senatorial district at the National Assembly in Abuja.
Oibe called on politicians and political parties to be wary of those who might sneak to meet them secretly in the name of Christian leaders from the North, with the sole aim of wetting their political apatite and desperation for monetary gains.
He stressed that Northern CAN, as a reputable religious organisation, would never engage in any secret dealing with any politician as a matter of policy.
He, however, said the association would leave its doors open to any Nigerian who desires to share with them, ideas on moving the country forward.
The CAN scribe also expressed concern about the intractable insecurity ravaging various parts of the country, saying nobody is safe if terrorists could threaten to abduct the President and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
He, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up to the occasion by living up to his constitutional responsibility of protecting the lives and property of citizens and defending the sovereignty of Nigeria.
“Nigeria is under siege by terrorists who are unleashing mayhem on the citizens and crippling economic and social activities across the country, particularly in states like Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Kebbi, Sokoto, and even Abuja – the seat of power,” he decried.
“The continuous brazen and commando-like style, with which these terrorists operate unchallenged, even to the extent of issuing a threat to kidnap the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is worrisome. We urge all well-meaning Nigerians to unite and pray fervently for the country and for the defeat of the enemies of the Nigerian state.”
Oibe asked the Presidency and the National Assembly to stop living in denial, saying urgent and proactive steps must be taken to save the country from collapsing.
He also congratulated the newly elected President of CAN, Reverend Daniel Oko, and pledged the association’s unalloyed loyalty to him.
“On behalf of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, we congratulate the newly elected National President of CAN, Reverend Dr Daniel Oko, and his vice, Reverend Dr Stephen Baba Panyam,” he said.
“We encourage them to stand firm like Joshua in the Bible in these difficult times and to be the real voice for the church in Nigeria. We pledge our unalloyed support in all areas to help them succeed.”