‘Nigeria, Not Ripe for Muslim-Muslim Ticket’

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John Shiklam in Kaduna

Former President of the youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and a member of the Northern Elders Forum (NEL), Rev. Bitrus Dangiwa has declared that Nigeria is not ripe for a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.

He also said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would have lost the 2015 election if the party had presented a Muslim – Muslim ticket.

Speaking in an interview with journalists yesterday in Kaduna, Dangiwa said the country was deeply divided along religion line and it would be suicidal for any political party to take that kind of decision and expect to win election.

Reacting to recent allegations by Bola Tinubu, national leader of the APC that  Senate President Bukola Saraki and Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, blocked his chances of becoming the running mate of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, Dangiwa maintained that Saraki and others took a patriotic stand to ensure the unity of the country.

“We thank the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and others for deciding against Muslim-Muslim ticket Presidency. The truth is that the Nigeria of today is not the Nigeria of yesterday where religious differences doesn’t matter much. I commend the senate President for being sensitive to the feelings of Christians Nigerians in Nigeria” he said.

He said further that the population of Nigerian Christians is not one that can be ignored by any politician.

According to him, “the Abiola-Kingibe ticket in 1993 was because the party made a mistake but Christians still supported them because of the disposition of MKO Abiola. But today the country is sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines and political decisions must be taken in such a way that every section is carried along.

“If the APC had made that mistake by presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket, I wonder if the party would have won the presidential election. I am very sure the Christians, for whatever reason would have supported a party that has a Christian on the ticket.

“If Bola Tinubu felt that some people stopped him from being Vice President, he was not being fair to Christians in Nigeria, he was being self centred by advocating for a Muslim-Muslim ticket just to achieve his ambition. He was thinking about himself, not about Nigeria and the crisis that would have happened, we couldn’t have been able to contain it”, he said.

He called on politicians to take decisions that can promote peace in the country rather than cause division. He said no politician can deceive Nigerians in 2019 as they will hold their leaders accountable for their actions.

“There would be more sanity in politics and Nigerians will use their votes to vote out those who have not performed. Next election will based on performance, people will be looking for those who have performed and who can perform.

“If you have not performed and you come back to ask people to vote for you, they will ask you to give account of yourself. We have been asking people for accountability from their leaders”, the clergyman said.