An interreligious civil society group, the Strength in Diversity Development Centre, (SDDC) on Sunday said the adoption of a Muslim-Muslim ticket by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should not be an excuse to overheat the polity.
The SDDC, inclined to peace, unity and good governance in Nigeria, made the appeal at a news conference at its secretariat in Ikeja, Lagos.
It said that such divisive tendency should not be a tradition in the nation’s polity.
It said that as a people, God created us in diverse form and leaning, rather than those diversity be a problem to us.
It said Nigerians should exploit the diversity for the common good of the country.
The conference, aimed at aiding the public de-emphasise religion in politics and good governance.
The group said that APC’s Ahmed Tinubu-Kassim Shettima’s joint ticket should not be allowed to overheat the polity.
Speaking at the event, the Director of the group, Mr Shefiu Majemu, said Nigerians had option of choice from other political parties that did not feature a Muslim president and a Muslim running mate.
The director decried the onslaught on the the choice of the ruling APC to adopt all Muslims as flagbearers, adding that Nigerians should not allow the ongoing debate to deprive them of quality leadership that Ahmed Tinubu represents.
“Politics and religion are veritable tools of shaping the society and increase development. In present day Nigeria, political actors have used religion and ethnicity to propagate political interest, depending on perverse situations.
“This time around the thought of people is that power should shift to the South, which most political parties obeyed but some out of choice and winning calculations, chose flagbearers from the North.
“It is in good fate that the Christain Association of Nigeria (CAN) made their unfavourable stance known against the the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC.
“As an organisation inclined to good governance and have been into election monitoring and observation over the years, we deem it fit not to continue standing on the fence while things go wrong.
We therefore want to move a bit forward in our scope to direct and inform the public on the right way to go in order not to get it wrong this time around,” he said.
Also, Pastor Gabriel Asusu, a member of the group, said Nigerians rarely bothered over who leads them so far the person does what was expected of him.
Asusu described Tinubu as a detribalised and non-religion fanatic and that his leadership of the country at this critical time would right the wrongs, going by his antecedent in the NADECO struggle and his pro-human programmes when he was Lagos State Governor.
The pastor tasked Nigerians to look in the direction of good and purposeful leadership and jettison the premodial stance of religion and ethnicity and go for performance in voting a leader, saying Tinubu-Shettima represents the kind of leadership that suits the country at the moment.
Recalls that CAN, the unbrella Christain organisation in the country, had expressed misgivings over the Muslim-Muslim ticket as adopted by the APC ahead of the 2023 general elections (NAN)