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2023: CAN warns against presidential tickets with nominees of same religion

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The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has warned political parties against presenting presidential tickets with nominees of the same religion in the 2023 general elections.

The Association stated that presenting a Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim ticket will heat up the polity.

CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle said this when he led a delegation of the Association on a visit to the office of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege at the National Assembly complex on Thursday.

This was disclosed in a statement titled, ‘2023: CAN Warns Against Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim Ticket,’ signed by the Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji.

The CAN President was quoted as saying, “Sir, concerning 2023 elections, we would admonish you politicians not to heat up the polity in any way as the campaigns are opened by guiding the utterances that would be coming out of you. There is already tension in the land because of insecurity.

“We equally want to urge you on the presidency that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered. We don’t want Christian/Christian ticket nor Muslim/Muslim ticket.”

The statement said Ayokunle expressed dissatisfaction and disappointment at Nigeria’s economic downturn and its consequences on the polity while calling for an enabling environment to cushion the effects on the people.

He said, “Sir, the church is worried about inflation in the land which has sent many people out of business. Unemployment is at an unimaginable level. While we appreciate the efforts of the legislative assemblies 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.”

The CAN President who commended the Federal Government on the management of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic also warned against forcing the people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

He said, “We appreciate the Federal Government, especially the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for the way this stubborn virus has been managed. We want to urge the government to continue to encourage Nigerians to take the vaccine but never to force or coerce people into doing so.”

In his response, the Deputy Senate President registered his appreciation for the visit and called for more of such interaction with a view to bridging the gap between the National Assembly and CAN.

He also appreciated the interest and the support of the Association in the efforts of the government to promote peace and unity and in its war against the pandemic. He tasked the Church leadership to encourage people to take the vaccine to reduce the menace if the government should not force it on them.

Those who were in the delegation included the General Secretary of CAN, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola; the Chairman, CAN Northcentral who also doubled as the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev Dr Israel Adelani Akanji; the CAN’s Legal Director, Barrister Comfort Chigbue; the Director, National Issues and the CAN Chairman Lagos State, Bishop Stephen Adegbite; and the Director, Education, Youth and Women’s Development, Barrister Omonuwa Ogiemudia.

Others are Barrister Inoru Anna Preye (CAN, Bayelsa State), Barrister Ibrahim Isa Babangida (CAN, Katsina State), the Special Assistant (Media and Communication to His Eminence), Pastor Adebayo Oladeji; the CAN’s Media Officer, Isaac Macrock, and the CAN Security officer, Captain Bolade Ogidan.

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