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Saturday, July 2, 2022
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Muslim-Muslim ticket; Imperative of sustaining religious harmony in Nigeria

By Oludare Mayowa

The issue of Muslim-Muslim tickets has raised temperament across the board, leading to many resorting to misinformation and deliberate falsehood. However, one thing is clear to all of us both the protagonists and antagonists; it’s the prerogative of Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar to choose whoever they think can help them win the election, no doubt about that.

The public debate is also within the ambit of the rights of those who are engaging in either opposing or supporting the move to bring about a ticket that seemingly ignores the sensibility of a section of the society by saying it does not matter, what matter is for their candidate to win an election.

But let me remind those who are pushing back on the people who are expressing their opposition to that proposition; there are consequences for every action.

You can’t eat your cake and at the same time want to have it.
The Christian community in Nigeria no longer felt safe and comfortable in their own country simply because of the way President Mohammadu Buhari has mismanaged the goodwill he enjoyed across the religious divide before he ascend the position of president.

The deliberate targeting of Christians in recent times rightly or wrongly by people who are associated with the other religion cannot be a mere happenstance; from Owo massacre to the Methodist Prelate abduction and many more still counting and to the recent letter to the Church to close their worship centres for three months, I have the inclination that the siege is planned to demoralise the people of the scripture in a bid to weaken their faith.

Last Sunday, attendance at churches was negatively impacted by the event that happened at the Catholic Church Owo in Ondo State, the previous week. Many Christians are now looking behind their back each time a stranger walked into their place of worship.
The terror is palpable, and some people are saying this does not matter as long as their candidate wins an election.

The misinformation about the success of Abiola – Kingibe’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket in the 90s, Gowon-Weys military rule in the 70s, and The Buhari-Idiagbon military rule in the 80s are misnomers and out of tune with the prevailing circumstances in our country today. Apart from the Abiola/Kingibe combination, other examples are under the military regimes, foisted on the country by the northern Muslim hegemony to perpetuate their regional agenda.

Never in the anal of this country have we been this divided across both geopolitical and religious divide, right from the days of Goodluck Jonathan till date, the country has slipped into the abyss of religious intolerance and the people in government have deliberately deployed this to feather their own interest.

To ignore the role religion play in our country today could be likened to someone knowingly sleeping in a house whose roof is on fire and this will be at the peril of the entire nation.

Those who are opposed to this move, are not necessarily the enemies of the candidates as been perceived by some of their followers, I would like to think that it is those hoods of court jesters around the politicians that could not tell their leaders the truth and would rather nudge them until they fall into the pit of error and fracture the fragile peace in the country.

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Eventually, Tinubu may eventually have his way by pushing down our throat the choice of a vice-presidential candidate that goes against the grain of reasoning and our expectations.
He should be sure that this nation will never recover from the pit such decision will transport the nation into and we could as well start kissing our unity goodbye.

In the southwest, for instance, Muslims and Christians have cohabitated for centuries, sharing fellowship, and celebrating festivals together without qualms. For instance, my grandfather was an Alhaji married to a prophetess (my grandmother) and there were no major issues within the family on religious basis.

Today, people who like to profit from the religious divide have put knives on the cord that bind us together and we are now suspicious of the move of the others.

Muslim organisations such as MURIC have done incalculable damage to our hitherto cherished unity by their openly denigrating Christian group in their bid to support Bola Tinubu and divide the country down the line.

I have said this in many of my social media posts on this issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket that if a single religion is not good enough in 2007 when Atiku rejected the proposal of Tinubu to come on board as his vice in the general election and Buhari rejected the same Tinubu in 2015, what makes us think the condition prevalent has since changed?

Politicians should not test the peaceful resolve of Christians to live in harmony in this country, they should stop doing things that will put the unity of our country in perpetual danger and threat.

Nigeria is not an Islamic country and everything should be done to ensure that we maintain the religious harmony in the country to save us from going the way of destruction.


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