The Catholic Bishop of Yola diocese, Bishop Dami Mamza has urged Nigerian political parties especially the two leading parties never to field Muslim-muslim or Christian-christian ticket as such move will be dead on arrival.
Mamza who made the position at a press conference in Yola, Sunday said such action is repugnant and discriminatory.
He noted that no amount of rigging can make a Muslim-muslim or a Christian-christian ticket win in Nigeria.
Mamza observed that Nigeria of 1993 when Abiola and Kingibe were fielded on a joint ticket is not the same Nigeria of 2022 and 2023 as the political dynamics have completely changed.
“My intervention is actually a request from a lot of people across the state that have asked my opinion regarding the present political situation in our country particularly the issue of choosing a running mate by the two major political parties particularly the ruling party.
“A lot of debate is going about choosing a Muslim-muslim ticket for the party. I just want to say that we have actually passed that stage in Nigeria, the issue of Muslim-muslim ticket or Christian-christian ticket. Nigeria of 1993 during the time of Abiola and Kingibe is completely different from Nigeria of 2022 or 2023 we are talking about 30 years ago. So if you talk about Muslim-muslim ticket, it is discriminatory, it is a kind of politics of exclusion and there is no need for us to play politics of exclusion in Nigeria.
“Everybody needs to be carried along. Both in the south and the north we have christians and Muslims. Yes majority of christians are in the south and majority of Muslims are equally in the north. But that does not mean that we do not have indigenous christians in the north and that does not mean that we do not have indigenous Muslims in the south. And for you to think of having a Muslim-muslim ticket, in our age is discriminatory. It is actually being insensitive to those that composed the population of the country.
“So I wish to advise the ruling party that the issue of Muslim-muslim ticket should never be considered. If it should be a Muslim-muslim or Christian-christian ticket then why they don’t the party allow the south to pick two people from the south or the north to pick two people from the north. The reason is that you want to carry people along.
” No doubt about it a Muslim-muslim ticket will be dead on arrival and I’m sure and I’m also speaking the minds of christians across the country that if that happens, that party should not consider christian to vote it. It is also the same thing with christian-christian ticket. You can’t think of that. If a Christian-christian ticket should happen in this country, the Muslims also have the right not to vote for that particular party because we don’t want a situation where we are divided along religious lines.
“Some governors are saying that they have done it and nothing happened but ask about the feelings of those who are living in those states, the tension frustration, the lack of inclusion and the lack of participation in political affairs in some of these states.
“You really need to interview people in those states. So for the good of this country and if a party will like to win 2023 election, it has to be a Christian-Muslim or a Muslim-christian ticket otherwise, no amount of rigging can make a Muslim-muslim ticket to win election in Nigeria. No amount of rigging can make a Christian-christian ticket to win election in Nigeria,” he said.