Why The Tinubu-Shettima ticket violates a Section of the APC constitution

Christian political leaders within the All Progressives Congress (APC) have rejected the party’s decision to field Kashim Shettima as the running mate of the presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Both Tinubu and Shettima are Muslims – a combination that has triggered varying reactions since the former announced the latter as his running mate in Katsina, on Sunday.

The APC Christian leaders described this move as a display of crass insensitivity to the complexity of modern Nigeria and the entire Church.

They said it is also a betrayal of the advocates of unity and peaceful co-existence with the Muslims including notable Imams who had “forewamed the party and the candidate from travelling that treacherous route.”

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Tuesday and signed by Doknan Sheni, a professor.

At the end of the meeting, the leaders said they cannot go back to their various constituencies to campaign for a Muslim/Muslim ticket.

Nigeria, they noted, is a multi-religious and a constitutional democracy and not a theocracy with religion as a major national fault line which cannot be manipulated without dire political consequences on the peaceful co-existence as a people.

They also said the current Nigerian environment and political atmosphere is different from 1993 where Moshood Abiola and Babangana Kingibe, both Muslims, contested as president and vice-president and recalled that “there was never a President Abiola nor vice President Kingibe.”

“The selection of a Muslim running mate is a display of crass insensitivity to the complexity of modern Nigeria and the entire Church. It is also a betrayal of the advocates of unity and peaceful co-cxistence with our Muslim brothers including notable Imams who had forcwamed the Party and the candidate from travelling that treacherous route,” the statement read.

Citing the fact that the president, the national chairman, deputy chairman north, the senate president, the speaker and deputy speaker, and now both the presidential candidate and running mate, are all Muslims, the leaders wondered if the Muslims would accept the arrangement if the cases were reversed.

The Tinubu-Shettima ticket, they said, has violated a Section of the APC constitution which states that it “will guarantee equal opportunity for all mutual and peaceful co-existence respect and understanding, eliminating all forms of discrimination and social injustice among Nigerian.”

They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and ensure justice, equity and fair play in the interest of the peace and stability of the nation and save the party from disintegration.

“We are disheartened that someone who wants to be a leader for all sections of the country is resorting to religious exclusivism as a tool for wining an election. This will certainly result in a massive revolt against the party. Leadership is all about inclusiveness, justice and equity.”

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