By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
Following permutations of a Muslim-Muslim ticket by a major political party, the Catholic Church is warning against what it termed most insensitive and a tacit endorsement of the negative voices of many non-state actors who have been threatening the nation’s unity and peaceful coexistence without arrest especially with the present glaring crisis and division in the nation.
A statement jointly signed by the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN, Very Rev. Fr. Zacharia Samjumi and the Director, Social Communications, CSN, Very Rev. Fr. Michael Umoh, said ordinarily, there would have been nothing wrong with a Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket in a democratic dispensation if there is mutual trust and respect for the human person and where the overriding desire for seeking political office is the fostering of the common good which unfortunately is not obtainable in the country presently.
According to the statement, from the Kaduna experience, the dangers of Muslim-Muslim ticket can be guaged by the havoc it has wrecked upon the predominantly Christian people of Southern Kaduna and therefore advised political parties to work towards presenting a more inclusive ticket, while calling on the people to resist the plan.
They noted that the process for the 2023 General election in Nigeria has been initiated and some of the things to be happy about include passing of the Electoral Act 2022 which allows the use of electronic devices for accreditation and in the capturing and transmission of results; the prompt release of election timetable by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); and the renewed confidence in the electoral process by the electorate, as demonstrated in the massive last minute turn out for voter registration among others.
The statement strongly condemned the attack and murder of catholic faithful in Owo inside the Church during Holy Mass on Sunday 5 June 2022, saying it is not just an attack on humanity, but also a terrible slap on the sovereignty of Nigeria and an indictment on the Federal Government.
It reminded Nigerians, to in pursuit of peace irrespective of creed or region, be mindful that all are equal; as such, there must be sensitivity in the spread of positions without compromising competence.
The duo, called on Nigerians, to individually and collectively, do everything in their power to seek and work for unity and justice, so that the country may attain the peace it desires as there is no alternative to peace.