From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, has tackled the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to field candidates of same-faith, Muslim-Muslim, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, respectively, for the 2023 presidential elections.

He described the decision as a plot to islamize Nigeria, insisting that if the decision is forced down on Nigerians, the religious and social discrimination and open public enforcement of the Sharia Law will be done in some parts of Nigeria.

The Anglican Primate who spoke at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in Abuja, on Wednesday, appreciated the barrage of negative reactions that followed the APC decision, and asked Nigerians to reject the move using their votes when the time comes in 2023.

He said: “Nigeria as we know it will cease to exist, and those who say that it does not matter must be prepared to fight the terrorists who would want to take it beyond your so-called civilized understanding. We must get it clear that because of religious and ideological differences, we may be using the same words and terminology but our understanding and perceptions are never the same.

“The activities for the general elections of 2023 are picking up. There is need for strengthening and striating out the internal democracy in the political parties. The more worrisome is the insensitivity and display of impunity by political leaders, especially in the two prominent big parties.

“A situation where the ruling party, the APC, is not considerate to the religious sensitivities of the citizens of this nation is to deliberately hurt a cross section of citizens. For the Christians, it is an affront that shows that what is most feared is being done.”

The Anglican Primate, however, suggested a political merger between northern and southern based political parties across tribal, religious and ideological divides, having good connectivity at the grassroots and the youths, describing it as a game changer in the 2023 elections.

He added: “No one political party has all the solutions to our national challenges and we must learn to manage our diversities which are God’s gifts to us, and they are our strength. We need a third-force to break the political quagmire. The big parties have taken the citizens for granted for a very long time, but there are other viable alternatives now if proper and sincere negotiations are done. Time is running out.

“Citizen’s political action and engagement will deliver this country from this political ineptitude. We have encouraged all our Archbishops and Bishops to mobilize our citizens to get their PVCs. 2023 election is a very crucial opportunity for the citizens to change the current narrative of woes in Nigeria.”

He confirmed that Anglican Church of Nigeria Political Mobilization Group has been mobilized and they would help to engage the political sphere and respond to developing current issues in the country and advise the Church appropriately on the best approach to take.

He challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to demonstrate enough evidence to inspire confidence of the electorates to participate in the electoral process that would herald emergence of new political leaders.

The Anglican Primate commended Nigerians for demonstrating maturity and political awareness through the massive turnout at different PVC registration centres across the country for the registration of their PVCs. “Next is operation collect your PVCs, and beyond getting the PVCs, prepare to vote however sacrificial this may demand.”

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Source: news