He explained that the statement was to ensure the principle that all public service institutions fairly reflected the country
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kaduna State chapter has said the excuse forwarded by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that the running mate for Bola Tinubu, Senator Kashim Shettima was selected based on competence, was unjustifiable.
This was said by the Chairman, CAN Kaduna State, Reverend John Joseph Hayab, in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen on Monday and obtained by SaharaReporters.
Hayab argued that to remove bias in government against any specific tribe, at least in form, the Nigerian federal character framework was authoritatively captured in Nigeria's 1999 Constitution with this description: "...the government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of the agencies."
He explained that the statement was to ensure the principle that all public service institutions fairly reflected the country; the government of the linguistic, religious, ethnic, and geographic diversity of the count.
"Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies," he said.
According to the statement, there are a lot of concerns from Nigerians over a particular party's consideration of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
"Last week, we stated our position in clear terms to establish that the ill decision of a particular political party is not for us a thing of concern, where we clearly illustrated, that when I wish to eat rice and beans and a particular restaurant chooses to cook only white rice that has not given me any reason to worry because simply what I will need to do is to move to the other restaurants that have prepared what I desire to eat.
"However, just to state the obvious on the matter at hand, though the electorates have no reason to raise eyebrows over wrong decision by any political party; that we have no reason to be worried about it does not also suggest that such a decision is not condemnable.
"The implication of such a decision is that such a candidate has no respect for the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria; it also suggests that the candidate is just a candidate that prioritises selfishness, greed and personal unhealthy interest over the good of the nation.
"The Federal character principle that we talked of above was the product of Gen Yakubu Gowon Administration when after the Civil War it was believed that a particular group occupied major ministries in the nation," it said.
The statement further said, "But clearly we all know, many have just of course to argue that leadership in Nigeria in the most recent past is with high ethnic nepotism, well one can rightly say this is another phase of it in religious shade.
"It is sad that the constitution clearly states that "The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any persons or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution".
"And that "The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice", with the very divisive challenges of poor security, hunger, a dying economy to mention but these.
"At a time when Nigeria needs a unifying and productive leader, a good candidate cannot consider it one–sided, divisive selection of a running mate despite all genuine agitations against such.
"This shows that should these persons be elected, they will not be listening leaders, it shows that these candidates are insensitive to the concerns of the people and does not care heating the system for selfish gains as they appear disinterested in the unity of the country but their selfish ambition," it said.
CAN warned that the refusal to listen to wise counsel was a confirmation of the anxiety of the people.
"Well as earlier stated, this is not a problem to us as an association serving as the voice of the church. We have performed our role as the voice of the church in the political and social arena, that is our simple role as far as this and the 2023 elections are concerned.
"But every candidate should know that he is just one option among others in the 18 approved political parties for the over 84,004,084 of Nigerian voters in the 176,846 polling units to choose from.
"As leaders we will want every political party to know that we will educate, sensitise, and mobilise our ever faithful followers to vote against anything that we judge as a danger against the unity, peace, progress and development of Nigeria.
"We will reiterate that the political party has her right of will to make decisions that she judges best for her, but they should know too that their decisions only end as an option to the electorates among many other options. Thankfully 2023 is never going to be business as usual.”