Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has defended the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), describing the decision as a political strategy.
While on a courtesy visit to the new executives of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Fayemi said the decision was not taken to undermine Christians, who he advised to be more involved in politics.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, is on the same ticket with former Borno State Governor, Senator Kashim Shettima. Both are Muslims. The combination has generated heated controversy, leading to protests and exits from the ruling party and Christian groups urging their members to reject the ticket at the poll.
Fayemi told the CAN delegation in Ekiti State, led by its Chairman, Emmanuel Aribasoye: “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.
“Even if they don’t agree with our choice, they would have seen the sincerity of purpose and understood that the decision was not on ground of competence because we have competent Christians all over Nigeria but on grounds of strategic political moves, which is what we do in politics”.
Fayemi further said: “We have to look at scenarios and calculate where the votes would come from, it is a game of numbers.
“I think it is time for Christians to move away from the theology of disengagement — the notion that politics is dirty and that it is not for a child of God. When serious Christians committed to the ideals of social justice and the common good turn away from politics, they open the door for unprincipled opportunists to take power.
“The Christian leadership should use this current challenge as an opportunity to present a charter of demands to all political candidates, especially our party, 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 concerns among all the candidates”.