The Northern Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) has urged political parties to reflect the diversity of the country when selecting their running mates.
Engineer Ejoga Oyinehi Inalegwu, the President of NOSCEF, shared his views in a statement released in honor of Democracy Day.
Muslim-Muslim and Christian-Christian tickets, according to the group, would be inappropriate and not in the best interests of all Nigerians.
“We, therefore, appeal to all patriotic presidential candidates to avoid manipulative but dangerous and insensitive Muslim/Muslim or Christian/Christian tickets that will further polarize the nation along religious lines at a time when Nigerians are looking forward to a new dawn come 2023,” the statement reads.
The organization felt it would usher in a new period and government free of exclusionary, discriminatory, and unjust policies.
NOSCEF urged political parties to be attentive to the nation’s mood, emphasizing that they must show patriotism by avoiding any action that would exacerbate the nation’s divisions in order to win elections rather than take steps to unite the country.
According to the group,
“We want to think that anyone with the credentials to manage this country from 2023 should be sensitive enough not to be a candidate who would return us to our religious divides by using the Christian/Christian ticket or the Muslim/Muslim ticket.” We don’t expect any patriot to reopen the wounds of our previous harsh religious divisions by doing so.”
Politicians should make intentional attempts to avoid playing religious cards through such tickets, according to the group, and should not blame those who denounce their unpatriotic conduct of being the perpetrators.
The slaughter of worshippers at St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, on Sunday was also condemned by NOSCEF.