The governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi, says that the Muslim-Muslim ticket presented by the All Progressives Congress (APC) was done hinged on political strategy.
He pronounced this during a courtesy visit by the new executives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ekiti state chapter, led by Emmanuel Aribasoye, the chairman.
The presidential candidate of APC, Bola Tinubu, who is a Muslim from the south-west, had on July 10 announced Kashim Shettima, a Muslim from the north-east, as his running mate for 2023 elections.
The development has evoked criticism from a number of Nigerians who called it an “injustice” to the Christian community.
Whilst speaking during the visit on Friday, the Ekiti governor said the decision wasn’t taken to sabotage Christians, noting that Christians should be more involved in politics.
“I have been talking to both the presidential candidate and other leaders of the party, that we need to take quick steps that we should have taken earlier, by approaching the leadership in Christendom and explain the context of the selection that was about to happen,” he said.
“Even if they don’t agree with our choice, they would have seen the sincerity of purpose and understood that the decision was not on ground of competence because we have competent Christians all over Nigeria but on grounds of strategic political moves, which is what we do in politics.
“We have to look at scenarios and calculate where the votes would come from, it is a game of numbers.
“I think it is time for Christians to move away from the theology of disengagement — the notion that politics is dirty and that it is not for a child of God.
“When serious Christians commited to the ideals of social justice and the common good turn away from politics, they open the door for unprincipled opportunists to take power.
“The Christian leadership should use this current challenge as an opportunity to present a charter of demands to all political candidates, especially our party (APC), outlining the irreducible minimum conditions acceptable to Christians in the next political dispensation — a charter of demands that would represent those values you preach to us in church highlighting our concerns, stressing the place of Christendom in the Nigeria project, and then placing our demands before the political leaders.
“I want the Church to organise debates around issues of concerns among all the candidates.”