Nigeria’s Church Leaders Reject “Christian/Christian, Muslim/Muslim ticket” for Presidency

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Representatives of Christian leaders in Nigeria have expressed their opposition to political parties in the West African nation nominating presidential candidates and their respective running mates from the same religious denomination. 

In a June 10 Facebook post, officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) say Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim presidential tickets in 2023 are “a threat to the fragile peace and unity of Nigeria”.

“CAN urges that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered in the choice of running mates of the presidential candidates. We do not subscribe to Christian/Christian ticket or Muslim/Muslim ticket,” they say in the statement signed by CAN National Secretary, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola.

The Christian leaders who include representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) add, “Politicians can talk politics but we have stated our view long before now. Any party that tries same religion ticket will fail.”

CAN officials say having candidates who are both Muslim will be unfortunate for Christians in Africa’s most populous country. 


“Even when we have joint Muslim/Christian ticket, the church still goes through hell. Only God knows the number of Christians that have been killed in the last seven years with no one apprehended or prosecuted,” they say referencing the current President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

They add, “Imagine how bad it will be if we have two Muslims in power? The extant Nigerian Constitution promotes religious balance.”

CAN officials emphasize the need to have religious balanced presidential aspirants, saying, “There is no party that has no great, good and patriotic Christians who can preside over the affairs of this nation not to talk of being the Vice President as some mischievous people are trying to say.”

“If merit and competence are used as yardsticks,” officials of the ecumenical body say, “We have many qualified Christians in all the 774 Local Government Areas of this country.” 

“To those arguing that people do not care about the religions of their leaders once they are competent and credible, we dare APC (The All Progressives Congress) to pick its Presidential running mate from the South and PDP (People’s Democratic Party) pick its own from the North and see what follows,” they say. 

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In the June 10 statement, the Christian leaders decry the current reported dominance of one religion in the country’s security organs. 

“In the ongoing dispensation, CAN leadership cried in vain to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to break the monopoly or dominance of the security architecture with people of the same faith. We are all seeing the outcome now,” they say. 

The representative of church leaders in Nigeria urge politicians in the West African nation to “stop flouting the Constitution by respecting the North and South dichotomy and religious factor.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.