No fewer than 500 Clerics in Abuja have today taken a protest rally to the US embassy, the international community calling on the world to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to respect the rights of others in the party.
The Clerics also told the International community that the sensibilities of the Christian community have been insulted by the ambition of a select few that have elected to throw caution in the wind.
It could be recalled that the APC Presidential Candidate had picked former Borno Governor Kashim Shettima as his running mate ahead of the forthcoming presidential polls.
The Clerics led by its Convener, Bishop David Gyang said
successive governments in the country have respected the multi-religious nature of the country, especially during elections, to create a balance in the leadership of the country.
He however said Christians are alarmed with the decision of the All Progressive Congress Party (APC) to disregard the Christian community in the choice of its vice presidential candidate for the 2023 presidential elections. Without mincing words, this is unacceptable and a recipe for creating sharp divides between the Muslims and the Christians in the country.
He said, ” Dear Ambassador, since the return of democracy in 1999 in Nigeria, the tradition has been a Muslim-Christian or Christian-Muslim paring by all political parties. And this has to a large extent, ensured religious harmony in the country.
“However, the move by the APC to adopt a Muslim-Muslim ticket is most insensitive and the height of discrimination against Christians in Nigeria. This is on the heels that other political parties indeed reflected the religious balance in the composition of their presidential team.
“We consequently wonder why the APC elected to tow this path of dishonour that, in our considered opinion, is deliberate to relegate the Christians in Nigeria into oblivion, which is not in the best interest of the country in this critical period of our existence.
“Dear Ambassador, the Christians in Nigeria are displeased and angered by this insensitivity. By their action, the APC sent a strong message that Christians are not relevant in the scheme of things in the country.
“The APC has also displayed religious intolerance that would eventually bring about religious tension in the country if not reversed in the overarching objective of entrenching peace and tranquillity.
“As stakeholders in the APC, we know that there are credible Christians in the APC from northern Nigeria and other parts of the country who are dedicated and have outstanding credentials that could make the vice presidential slot.
“Dear Ambassador, we are tempted to mention that the move by the APC is intended to cause a crisis of unimaginable proportion along ethno-religious lines. And you must admit that this is not what Nigeria needs, in all fairness.
“This despicable display aggrieves the Christian community in Nigeria by the APC in presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 presidential elections” he said
Gyang said the Nigerian Clergy and Christians in the APC are using the medium to appeal to the United States of America to intervene in reversing this ignoble move by the APC.
“We demand that the United States of America use its diplomatic relationship with Nigeria to impress on the leadership of the APC to reverse this decision in the interest of the country’s future.
“Nigeria is a trusted ally of the United States of America, and it is incumbent on the United States of America to ensure that Nigeria gets it right due to its strategic importance in Africa.
“Dear Ambassador, the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC is anti-progress, and it should not be allowed to stand due to the dangerous precedence it would set in the life and times of the country.
“The United States of America must do the needful to ensure that the Christian community in Nigeria is protected, politically and socially. The Christians in Nigeria deserving of adequate representation in the leadership of this country.
“Dear Ambassador, we trust you will use your good office to prevail on the leadership of the APC to reverse the decision of a Muslim-Muslim ticket” he added