From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
As the political process leading to the 2023 general elections gather momentum, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has advised political parties against choosing their presidential and governorship candidates from the same religion, either on Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim ticket.
It cautioned the leading political parties against heating up the polity with such arrangement saying it could trigger unnecessary suspicion, acrimony and denial by voters.
CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle stated this, yesterday, when he led the management team of the group on a visit to Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, yesterday.
Bayo Oladeji, media aide to Ayokunle, in a statement quoting him as saying: “We would admonish that, concerning 2023 general elections, politicians should not heat up the polity in any way, even as the campaign windows are about to be opened. They should rather guide their utterances and actions because there is already tension in the land because of insecurity. Most Instructively, we want to urge you, politicians, on the Presidency. We want a situation that a balance of religion will be considered. We neither want Christian/Christian ticket nor Muslim/Muslim ticket.”
He also expressed dissatisfaction and disappointment with the economic downturn and its consequences on the polity, and called for an enabling environment to cushion the effects on the people.
He told the lawmaker that the church was worried about the country’s inflation, which he said, had sent many people out of business, leading to unimaginable level of unemployment.
“While we appreciate the efforts of the legislature 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 commended the Federal Government for the wisdom in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, but cautioned against forcing the people to take COVID-19 vaccines.
Omo-Agege thanked the CAN leadership for the visit and called for more of such interactions with a view to bridging the gap between the National Assembly and CAN.
He also appreciated the interest and support of CAN in the efforts of the government to promote peace and unity, and in its war against the COVID-19. He said the APC would not field candidates from the same religion on its presidential ticket.