“Federal Universities (in the North) Vice Chancellors 28. Muslims 23, Christians 5.
“State Universities, Vice Chancellors 22. Muslims 17, Christians 5.
“Federal Polytechnics, Rectors 21. Muslims 18, Christians 3.
“State Polytechnics, Rectors 20. Muslims 16, Christians 4.
“Federal Colleges of Education, Provosts 23. Muslims 22 Christian 1.
“State Colleges of Education, Provosts 31. Muslims 24, Christians 7.
“Of course, it goes without saying that employment to all other positions from the Registrar down to the cleaner in these institutions will be replicated in a similar manner.
“This scenario is what we find in all agencies of governments in the north. Therefore, we view this Muslim-Muslim ticket as an extension of this practice of exclusion to the uppermost level of government.
“Christians all over the country see this Muslim-Muslim ticket as a deliberate and premeditated attempt to introduce and firmly entrench religion into the politics of this country. This, of course, will lead to further disharmony in the hitherto fragile coexistence of the Nigerian society, disrupt peace and hamper both social and economic development of the country.
“Christians and indeed most enlightened Nigerians are at a loss as to why people that intend to govern a country with our kind of diversity would chose this path to power. This is very divisive and must be rejected by all patriotic Nigerians.
“Implied in this ticket is the insinuation that northern Muslims are not willing to vote for a ticket that has a Christian on it and on which they are not represented. It is our believe that northern Muslims would have seen the Justice in a Muslim-Christian ticket and would have given it their overwhelming support had the party been inclined to do so.
“A corollary to this mindset is that Christians should also not vote for a ticket in which they are not accommodated. Unfortunately, this is the message we get loud and clear from this Muslim-Muslim ticket. This is truly a wake up call for all Nigerian Christians. We didn’t start this religious politics, APC and it’s candidates did; so all of us should take note and act as appropriate.
“So our dear APC colleagues, spare us these sanctimonious lectures on “competence” and the cliche “religion of the candidates do not matter. The truth is that the 2023 presidential election will be all about religion, and sadly, you started it; religion does matter in this context, so be ready for the consequences.
“It is important to reiterate that we Nigerian Christians, want to live in peace and harmony with all practitioners of other religions. We want to enjoy social and economic developments like other parts of the world, but without peace, justice and religious harmony, this is not possible.
“On our part, we neither seek to oppress nor dominate any one or any religion. But we will also resist any one trying to discriminate against us and our religion. We were not the ones that started this fight. The APC started it and must be ready to carry the cross it has created. Blaming Christians and heaping insults on CAN will take them nowhere.
“For, how do they expect Christians to keep silent when a northern state governor publicly states that they pressured Tinubu to get a northern Muslim VP because they did not believe him to be a good Muslim? Is the VP going to be the National Deputy Imam? How do they expect us to keep silent when another northern state governor goes to Osun State and urges them to vote for someone just because he is a Muslim? Was he there for election campaign or “dawah”? What can be a better example of religion in politics than demonstrated by these governors?
“Clearly, there is an agenda to politically, religiously, and economically suppress and oppress the Northern Christian. But we are up to the task. We will protect ourselves. The PVC and our prayers will be our weapons of choice and we will massively deploy them in 2023.
“But while we are ready to battle this politics of exclusion and oppression, we are open to discussions with any one who wants to engage with us in good faith.
“As I always do, want to end with this quotation from Romans 8:31: “What then shall we say in response to these things. If God is for us who can be against us?”. May God bless and reward all our collective efforts at seeking to live in peace with one another in Nigeria, our blessed country.”
-Engr Babachir Lawal, Ex-SGF