“Given the pluralistic configuration of Nigeria, we have seen deliberate effort since independence to preserve the peace and unity of the country by ensuring that the Presidency is balanced in terms of religion and region.
“In the first republic, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (Muslim/North) was the Prime Minister while Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Christian/South) was the President under the parliamentary system. Under the presidential system, we have had Shehu Shagari (Muslim/North) and Alex Ekwueme (Christian/South); Olusegun Obasanjo (South/Christian) and Atiku Abubakar (North/Muslim); Umaru Musa Yaradua (North/Muslim) and Goodluck Jonathan (South/Christian); Goodluck Jonathan (South/Christian) and Namadi Sambo (North/Muslim); and currently Muhammadu Buhari (Muslim/North and Yemi Osinbajo (Christian/South).
“It is against this backdrop that we are calling on all the political parties to maintain this balance for the 2023 presidential election and to caution those who are brazenly advocating for a Muslim/Muslim ticket to reconsider their unrealistic stance.
“Our position on this matter is that we do not, and will not support a Christian/Christian ticket or a Muslim/Muslim ticket as this is capable of plunging the nation into deep and irredeemable crisis.
“It is pertinent to restate unequivocally that the corporate existence of Nigeria is founded on the principles of justice, fairness and equity.
“Section 23 of the 1999 Constitution as amended has identified, among others, religious tolerance and social justice as our national values which must guide our conduct and relationships. Our national interest is greater than any individual or group interest.
“We must, therefore, do away with primordial sentiments that seek to divide and destroy us and embrace the ideals of peace, love, unity and progress.
“Martin Luther King once said that we must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools. I pray we heed to this timely warning.
“May God choose for us leaders that are righteous, just, humble and capable of serving this nation selflessly.”