*condemn Owo Church killings
By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
While congratulating candidates that emerged flag bearers of their respective parties ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) has once again, sounded a note of warning that the country’s diversity should be taken into consideration while choosing their running mates.
NOSCEF expressed this in its Democracy Day message to the nation, signed by its President, Engineer Ejoga Oyinehi Inalegwu, made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Friday June 10, 2022, warning that Muslim-Muslim, Christian-Christian tickets would be insensitive.
“We therefore appeal to all patriotic Presidential Candidates to avoid manipulative but dangerous and insensitive Muslim/ Muslim ticket or Christian/Christian ticket that will further polarize the nation along religious lines when Nigerians are looking forward, with great expectations for a new dawn, come 2023.
“A new era and government devoid of politics of exclusion, discrimination and injustice,” NOSCEF said.
NOSCEF said that they have watched with keen interest, particularly the emergence of various Presidential candidates on the platform of various parties for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria. We congratulate all the parties.
“As the parties therefore, make efforts to meet the deadline for the submission of their presidential and vice-presidential candidates, NOSCEF wants to again appeal to political parties to be sensitive to the mood of the nation, the religious diversity of our people and show patriotism by avoiding any action that will throw up our lines of divide, merely to win elections rather than steps that will unite our nation.
“We want to believe that anyone with the credentials to rule this nation from 2023, should be sensitive enough and not be a candidate that would take us back to our religious divides, through the instrument of Christian/Christian ticket or Muslim/Muslim ticket. We do not expect any patriot to, by so doing, again open the wounds for our past bitter religious divides.
“We need, as a nation, a united front to forge a new Nigeria, that will bring people together across religious divides because we do not lack quality across the religious and regional divides,” it insisted.
The frontline group said that politicians should make deliberate efforts at avoiding playing the religious cards through such tickets and not turn around to accuse those who condemn their unpatriotic action as the culprits.
According to the statement, the Sunday church killings in Owo is barbaric and stands highly condemned.
“NOSCEF joinsled all Nigerians of conscience to condemn yet another barbaric invasion of a place of worship to commit mass murder as witnessed in St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.
“We appeal to the security apparatus of state to collaborate with the regional security outfit, Amotekun to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to face the consequences of their heinous crime against humanity,” the group said.
NOSCEF therefore, wished Nigerians a happy Democracy Day.