The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria has warned political parties against presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the upcoming general elections in 2023.
The position of the Catholic Church was contained in a statement issued Tuesday by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.
The declaration was co-signed by the Secretary General of the CSN, the Very Rev. Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi, and Director, Social Communications, Very Rev. Michael Nsikak Umoh.
The statement read: “The process for the 2023 General Elections in Nigeria has been launched and there is cause for celebration: the passage of the Elections Act 2022 which allows the use of electronic devices for accreditation and for the capture and transmission of results; the prompt publication of the election timetable by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); renewed confidence in the electoral process by the electorate, as evidenced by the massive last-minute turnout for registration on the electoral lists, among others.
“It is however disheartening that the conduct of most of our politicians seems to be going from bad to worse as we have witnessed a spectacle of shame and an increased ugly culture of money politics during the recent primaries.
“While all of this is going on, we must not lose sight that the unity of this country has, over the years, been maintained by a delicate balance between the religious and the regional.
“Even in the despotic military era, most juntas ensured a balance of religious architecture in their regimes. For example, 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 various parastatal government agencies like customs, immigration, finance, etc.
“Significantly, it was only during the era of General Muhammadu Buhari as head of the military state (December 31, 1983 – August 27, 1985) that we had a Muslim-Muslim military dictatorship.
“Similarly, we only had a Muslim-Muslim ticket once in the democratic elections of 1993, which featured the Abiola-Kingibe ticket and proved to be one of the freest and fairest elections from Nigeria. But this government never took off!
“Fast forward to 2022, 30 years later, some individuals have attempted to suggest the Muslim-Muslim ticket for the presidential election in a country like Nigeria which has unfortunately been poorly polarized.
“With the current glaring crisis and division of the nation, a Muslim-Muslim ticket would be most callous and a tacit endorsement of the negative voices of many non-state actors who have threatened the unity and peaceful co-existence of this nation without arrest.
“Based on the Kaduna experience, we can see the havoc the Muslim-Muslim ticket has wreaked on the predominantly Christian people of southern Kaduna.
“In the pursuit of peace, it is imperative to remind everyone that all Nigerians, regardless of creed or region, are equal; as such, there needs to be sensitivity in disseminating policy 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 can achieve that peace which we all desire. there is no alternative to peace.