Mr Fayemi said the choice of Kashim Shettima, a Muslim, as running mate to Bola Tinubu, also a Muslim, is a matter of political calculation, not competence.
The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has asked the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to take advantage of the challenge being mounted against the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress to present its charter of demands to the party.
Mr Fayemi said the choice of Kashim Shettima, a Muslim, as running mate to Bola Tinubu, also a Muslim, by the APC is a matter of political calculation, not competence.
He said this on Friday during a courtesy visit to him by the new executives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ekiti State Chapter led by its Chairman, Emmanuel Aribasoye.
Mr Aribasoye had raised the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket during the visit.
Mr Fayemi, who stepped down and endorsed Mr Tinubu at the presidential primaries in June, said the charter must outline “irreducible minimum conditions acceptable to Christians.”
“The Christian leadership should use this current challenge as an opportunity to present a charter of demands to all political candidates, especially our party (APC), outlining the irreducible minimum conditions acceptable to Christians in the next political dispensation.
“A charter of demands that would represent those values you preach to us in church highlighting our concerns, stressing the place of Christendom in the Nigeria project and then placing our demands before the political leaders. I want the Church to organise debates around issues of concern among all the candidates,” the governor stated.
He added that the charter of demands would bring more benefits to Christians than focusing on the composition of the ticket.
The governor noted that Christians have viewed politics as a “dirty game”, hence, they have disengaged from it. He added that that view has to change.
Mr Fayemi said that he has been engaging with Mr Tinubu and other leaders of the APC on the composition of the presidential ticket of his party.
“Many Christians see politics as a dirty game, and for this reason, are disengaged from the political process. It’s time for us to realise that there are compelling reasons for Christians to participate in politics. In my own opinion, whatever makes us good Christians makes us good citizens.
“I can tell you that Christians who are in politics are equally concerned about the matter you have raised about the Muslim-Muslim ticket. Not so much because of faith but because of fair representation and representation in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural setting is always going to be an issue of concern. But I have also had cause to discuss this with our political associates and our fathers in the Lord.
“But where we are now, my plea with Christians is to do that which is expected of us. Yes, the agitation must continue and on my part as a Christian, I have been talking to both the Presidential candidate and other leaders of the party that we need to take quick steps that we should have taken earlier by approaching the leadership in Christendom and explain the context of the selection that was about to happen,” he said.
CAN’s opposition to Muslim/Muslim ticket
CAN has been vocal against the Muslim/Muslim ticket since Mr Tinubu announced the former governor of Borno, Mr Shettima, as his running mate.
The choice of the former governor sparked criticisms from those who believe Mr Tinubu, a southern Muslim, should have picked a Christian from the North as his running mate.
At the unveiling of Mr Shettima as running mate, the presence of cassock-wearing attendees suggested some Christian leaders are in support of APC’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket in spite of opposition by CAN.
But CAN swiftly disowned the men, saying they were impostors hired by the APC to fake a Christian-community support for the Tinubu-Shettima ticket. Some of the clerics who attended the event, have, however, said they were not hired.