The Chairman, Northern States Christian Elders Forum, Oyinehi Ejoga, on Saturday asked Christians to reject the All Progressives Congress’ Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket or they would become politically irrelevant in future elections.
Speaking while addressing delegates at the NOSCEF national congress in Kaduna, Ejoga said the insistence of the APC and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to go with the same faith ticket showed the party had no respect for Christians in the country.
Tinubu’s choice of a fellow Muslim, Senator Kashim Shettima, who is a former governor of Borno State, had sparked public debate, with many Nigerians describing it as an attempt to malign Christians.
He stated, “Unpatriotic politicians will use any formula they can apply to win elections, whether it hurts or not, and they promise to placate people as APC is doing after all the pleas.
“Make the single faith ticket unattractive for the future by killing it now or render yourselves forever an irrelevant component in the election equation in the future. A people easily persuaded by personal and selfish gains to the destruction of the body will be a Judas to the Christendom. Let us be men and women of principles and loyalty to God.
“We enjoin all lovers of Nigeria across faith to reject the single faith ticket to frustrate politics of exclusion that is mindful of regional balance but insensitive to faith inclusion.”
The guest speaker at the event, Prof Josiah Onaolapo, said the 2023 general elections could be a threat to the political viability of Northern Christians if they do not act right.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Politics today: which way for Northern Christians’, Onalapo stated, “Christians must join politics. After God, politics directs the country. So the church should be part and parcel of those that direct Nigeria. If Christians are serious in politics, we won’t be where we are today. The church had been acting as a moral compass without being practitioners. So, it is time we wake up.”
Onaolapo, who said Christians were being persecuted in the north, noted that out of 19 northern states, only three states were being governed by Christians.
He added, “There is no state in the North that does not have about 30 per cent of Christians, including Sokoto and Zamfara states. What are we doing with our population? It is time to use it for political change.
“2023 elections are a threat to the political viability of northern Christians. If you allow the door to be closed against northern Christians, the door is closed forever.”