* Osinbajo: We are a nation in hands of God
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned political actors of the consequences of a Muslim-Muslim ticket being speculated by some of the major political parties.
President of CAN, Rev. Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle described such arrangement as a ticking time bomb that will set the country on fire.
Similarly, the presiding Bishop and General Superintendent of Grace of God Mission International, Bishop Paul Nwachukwu has stressed that Nigeria is a secular state, adding that a Muslim-Muslim running mates for the 2023 presidential election would be unacceptable to Christians.
Ayokunle issued the warning yesterday at the Inter-denominational church service marking the 2022 Democracy Day at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, where he was the guest speaker.
His speech was delivered by the founder of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries International, Bishop Francis Wale Oke.
Ayokunle, who lamented that the Church was being persecuted, described the speculated Muslim–Muslim ticket as an existential treat for Nigerian Christians who he said would be reduced to second class citizens in their country. He vowed Nigerian Christians would resist such arrangement if it is eventually adopted by any of the political parties for the Presidential election.
“A Muslim-Muslim arrangement is a potential time bomb that can set this country on fire. Every part of the country has capable people that lead and occupy high political offices. Let it not be that Christians are going to be relegated to second class citizens in Nigeria.
“Those seeking to lead us in 2023 should address this issue. A Muslim-Muslim ticket is at the heart of our existence as a nation. In fact, it is an existential threat that can blow our country apart. It is an invitation to chaos and it will not fly because it will set the country on fire. Please don’t alienate the Church,” Ayokunle warned.
He also said Nigerian Christians disagreed with the notion that the Church was not under any persecution in spite of the recent terrorist attack on St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, that left many worshippers dead and several others injured.
He said the country was on a precipice and in urgent need of courageous leadership that can avert inequalities facing it and take decisions that will galvanise it into a nation all Nigerians are proud of. He urged political aspirants in the 2023 elections to address the concerns about the hardships in the polity.
“The youths are despondent and looking for the slightest opportunity to leave the country, the education is in shambles; schools closed for months –this needs to be addressed decisively.
“Our health system is not for the people as doctors are migrating to other lands, vagabonds are filing in the gap and our people are feeling the brunt. The national debt is climbing on daily basis. And the Bible is very clear on this that the rich rules over the poor and the borrower is a servant to the lender. Our nation collectively is becoming servant to the people that are giving us money or we are borrowing from.
“Our debt now is in trillions of dollars. This needs to be addressed decisively by our leaders. Come to talk of insecurity. It is an inferno engulfing the whole nation. Every part of the nation is without effective response to stop it. We look around and we see so much of insecurity and this is escalating and Nigerians are restless and we are calling on our leaders to do something very decisive.
“I think we are tired of feeble responses and condolence that is dished out when mass killing and mindless kidnappings take place. We want something to be done. These are issues that call for decisive leadership to take decisions that are fair and just,” he said.
He lamented the fate of Leah Sharibu, abducted since 2018, for refusing to renounce her faith as well as the killing of Deborah Yakubu by a mob in Sokoto for committing an alleged blasphemy, saying the latter should not be happening to any Nigerian in the 21 st century.
Meanwhile, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo in his remarks during the church service said Nigeria was in hands of God. He assured the people that no matter how challenging the situation or moment might be, there is always enough God given strength within the people to surmount them.
His address was read by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha. He said Nigerians have always risen to the occasion even when they subjugated and lorded over by colonial powers over their resources.
“We rose to the occasion, following the ravages of a civil war, to rebuild a united country, no matter how imperfect, we rose to the occasion, when you are a military dictatorships push us to the Age of Extinction and negotiated our way into a democratic democracy that provides a platform for us to build a country we can all be proud of. And we have come this far because of all of us, from the north, to the south,” Osinbajo said.
Quoting several Biblical verses, said the democracy day set aside to commemorate Nigeria’s transition from military rule to democratic governance provides an opportunity to reflect on how far Nigerians have come as a people.
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