Religion Shouldn’t Be A Yardstick On Who Governs Nigeria
Abba Dukawa, Kano
As the country matches toward 2023 general election, leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria and other individuals seem to have become religious bigotry. I am sure using religious or tribal sentiments had not benefited anybody and the country at large. In the past 7 years the election patterns in the country held alone the ethnicity and religious lines which has taken the country to near brink of failed state so to speak.
There was no time the country has ever been polarised like now as no one feel safe because of our collective failure in electing incompetent people that not able to be leaders at same time to work toward economy growth of the country. These mistakes of voting along religious or tribal lines have broadening the eyes of Nigerians to forget tribalism and religious sentiments but resort of seeking Allah’s guardians to vote. What are they benefiting from, voting our present crop of leaders along the ethnicity and religious lines.
Today, northern states and the country in general have turned into scarred zones with bandits, kidnappers and terrorists killing, kidnapping and raping innocent unarmed civilians without any challenge from the security agencies. One finds it difficult to juxtapose the constitutional and primary responsibility of the government with the prevailing situation in the country under the watchful eyes of the president and state governors given the situation in which scores of people are being killed on a daily basis, while hundreds of others have abandoned their homes. Vividly as result of this wrong voting, the country’s economy is in bad shape as the country arrives to the present dreaded moment as cost of servicing debt surpassed the federal government’s retained revenue by N310 billion in the first four months of 2022. The federal government’s total revenue for the period was N1.63 trillion, while debt service gulped N1.94 trillion.
As the country matches toward 2023 General Elections there is need for Nigerians to learn how to put the interests of the country first before any parochial, tribal, ethnic or religious interests because the country is for all of us. Since the ruling governing party banking on Muslim Muslim tickets there is no end in sight to the public spat on the tickets despite this spat got nothing to do with either interest of Muslims or Christians but just for the political interests.
Why should religion be the yardstick to determine who governs Nigeria. Why should the religions of presidential and vice-presidential candidates matter? And What has religion in this case Christianity and Islam got to do with the ability and capability of a person to effectively govern a country such as Nigeria?
I mean, Nigeria is not only a country of Christians and Muslims. Millions of Nigerians do not identify as Christians or as Muslims. There are Nigerians who are atheists/humanists, traditional and religionists, Like their Christian and Muslim counterparts, they are also entitled to participate in politics and governance. They are entitled to vote and be voted for. Discussions over Muslim-Muslim, Muslim-Christian, Christian-Christian, and Christian-Muslim tickets have made religions, especially Christianity and Islam, the main parameters for the choice of president and vice president.
For this reason Christian Association of Nigeria and it’s footsoldiers should know that their stance can not (neither noise making nor intimidation can) force the electorates to circumventing to their wishes just for their political survival. Why Babachir and others fuming on Muslim Muslim ticket, why they felt aggrieved by the action using available platform seemingly instigating some people to stand against the choice.
For former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and other like minds and individuals across the country, should remember Nigerians are wise enough and will not allow any religious sentiment to add more suffering to us, while they swing in dollar and Naira at their comfort zone.
In spite, these people can not claim to be saints to speak on behalf of other Christians. They ‘re doing it for their personal interest and not for poor Christians and Christianity .
For anybody to fight on behalf of his religion he must be morally upright because religion is about righting the wrong.
Religious organizations or related groups should not allow political office seekers to misuse religion as a tool to get to power and just get personal gain from those who are in authority. We should understand that Nigeria constitution provides anyone freedom of religion which should be strictly applied and protected.
Dukawa write in from Kano can be reached via abbadukawa@gmailcom