Voting along religious lines in the 2023 general election may trigger negative consequences among Nigerians and threaten national development, Northern Christian leaders in the All Progressives Congress and Northern Muslim political leaders said on Sunday.
They also agreed to adopt one of the presidential candidates in a bid to defeat the Muslim-Muslim ticket adopted by the APC despite the public outcry.
The APC Northern Christian leaders, led by a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, agreed to focus on issues that unite them as a people rather than encouraging attacks on sensitive religious issues in the name of politics.
The resolutions were contained in a communiqué jointly signed by Dogara and a former deputy governor of Sokoto State and ex-Minister of Water Resources during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mukhari Shagari, after a consultative meeting held in Abuja on Saturday.
The meeting also had in attendance a former governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna; a former governor of Kwara State, Abdulfattah Ahmed; ex-Minister of Sports, Damishi Sango; Senator Idris Ahmed Umar; and two former deputy governors of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi and Simon Achuba.
The communiqué partly read, “The APC Northern Christian leaders have, in line with their communiqué issued on July 29, 2022, met with some Muslim brothers and sisters across the 19 northern states and the FCT and resolved as follows:
“That we have agreed to work together to foster unity, peace, and national cohesion.
“To work together and jointly adopt a pan-Nigerian political platform that will engender unity, inclusiveness, and a sense of belonging among the Nigerian citizenry.
“Conscious of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural configuration of Nigeria, we believe that a same-faith ticket and voting along religious lines may trigger dangerous dimensions of negative consequences among our disparate peoples in ways that will hamper nation-building.
“Consequently, we have agreed to channel our energies on matters that unite us more as a people instead of encouraging attacks on sensitive issues bothering religion in the name of politics.
- “Given the above, we have agreed to set up a committee with the mandate to fashion out strategies for advancing the objectives outlined in this resolution.”