Nigerians must kill idea of same-faith ticket in 2023, say northern Christian elders

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The Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) says Nigerians must use the 2023 elections to make the idea of a same-faith ticket unattractive for politicians.

Ahead of the polls, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presented presidential and vice-presidential candidates who are of the same faith.

Bola Tinubu, the APC standard bearer, is a Muslim from the south-west while his running mate, Kashim Shettima, is a Muslim from the north-east.

The Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC has been condemned by groups such as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

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Speaking during a congress in Kaduna on Saturday, Ejoga Inalegwu, chairman of NOSCEF, asked “lovers of united” Nigeria to reject politicians that are insensitive to faith inclusion in the country.

Inalegwu said Christians must use the 2023 polls to “kill” the idea of a single-faith ticket and make it irrelevant in future elections.

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“Unpatriotic politicians will use any formula they can apply to win elections, whether it hurts or not and promise to placate as APC is doing after all the pleas,” he said.

“They will discard any formula that makes them lose elections in the future. Make the single-faith ticket unattractive for the future, by killing it now or render yourselves forever an irrelevant commodity in the election equation for the future.

“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.”

On his part, Josiah Onaolapo, a professor who was the guest speaker at the congress, said the 2023 election is a test of the political viability of northern Christians.

“We must mobilise our people to vote in 2023 as if our lives depend on it,” he said.

“If you allow the door to close against northern Christians, the door will be closed forever.

“There is no state in the north that does not have about 30 percent of Christians including Sokoto and Zamfara states.”