THE Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned political parties parading candidates for the presidential election in 2023 elections to avoid either a Muslim-Muslim ticket or a Christian-Christian ticket, noting that this would threaten the peace and unity of the country.
In a statement on Friday, the National Secretary of CAN, Joseph Daramola, called on the presidential candidates and their parties to balance religious representation when choosing competent running mates.
According to the statement, “the running mate of the APC presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, should be a Christian from the North; Atiku Abubakar’s running mate should be a Christian from the South, while Peter Obi should choose his among the Muslims from the North.
“Anything contrary to the above means that the leadership of these political parties do not bother about the unity of this entity called Nigeria. Those who are planning a Muslim-Muslim ticket should also find out what was the outcome of the MKO Abiola and (Babagana) Kingibe ticket in 1993. If they try a Muslim-Muslim ticket this time round, the outcome will be worse, because our fault lines are very visible.”
It stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari had polarised the country by not heeding CAN’s call to overhaul the security architecture and deploy religious and ethnic balance within the security structure of the country.
A professor of Political Science at the Bayero University, Kano, Fage Sanni, told PUNCH, “I think they have limited chances if they work individually. They can garner a few votes here and there, but if they were to collaborate in any way, they would make more impact.
“Kwankwaso is very strong in the North-West, and Obi in the South-East, they will need someone like Wike in the South-South. If they can come to a meeting point concerning who becomes President of Nigeria, they will be raising their probability of winning at the poll.
“Already, the APC and the PDP are the dominant parties, but with a formidable collaboration, the election will be a three-horse race at the presidential level.”
Meanwhile, according the PUNCH newspaper, professor of Political Science at the Osun State University, Omitola Olumuyiwa, also said that he had doubts that the candidates would work together, but noted: “All of them have unique strongholds; Kwankwanso will only have votes in some places in the North, maybe in Kano and a few places, because of the Kwankwasiyya movement, but he does not have a national spread.
“Obi is someone to watch out for, but the problem with Obi is that I don’t see people from the South-East voting for him. They are likely to go the way of Atiku. People will look towards Atiku because he has a better chance than Obi.
“However, the way Obi is going, you will be surprised that people from the South-West, the North and the South-South will vote for him. He is seen as a kind of departure from the norm.”