The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) on Wednesday slammed the All Progressives Congress for insisting on a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, despite public outcry.
The church said it was irresponsible of the APC to put its political survival ahead of Nigeria’s stability and peace.
The Anglican Bishop of Kubwa Diocese Rev. Dr. Duke Akamisoko stated these in an interview with reporters during the 2022 Pre-Synod Briefing held in Abuja.
He described the party’s same-faith ticket as totally unacceptable to the Anglican Communion; adding that it constituted “a flagrant abuse of our collective sensibility as a nation”.
Akamisoko said, “The Muslim-Muslim ticket at a time like this is a show of insensitivity to the plurality of religions; the polarized nature of Nigeria; the plight of Christians in Nigeria and the sentiments of Christians in Northern Nigeria, etc.
“In fact, it is a direct insult to all of Christianity. The APC made a choice; it is up to Christians in Nigeria to make their choice too.
“There can never be a rational explanation for such a selfish, greedy and self-centered decision by the APC. It is irresponsible for the APC to put its political survival ahead of Nigeria’s stability and peace.
“The party should have taken inspiration from the opposition against its vice-presidential ambition and how President Muhammadu Buhari opted for a Christian running mate in 2015 instead of the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“A Muslim-Muslim ticket is the biggest insult to the Christian community, especially in the northern region. Is APC saying no northern Christian is smart enough to be his running mate? Is the APC saying that there is no Christian in the North who has the political value to bring it victory? Surely the answer is NO. »
He also spoke out on other burning issues of national concern such as the persistent industrial action by university professors, insecurity, the anti-corruption war, the 2023 general election, among others.
During the five-month university workers’ strike, the Anglican bishop warned that any country that did not take the education of its young people seriously was already preparing for an apocalyptic day.
“For several months, ASUU, NASU and ASUP have been on strike. This is a very bad omen for our country.
“An idle hand is the devil’s workshop. Young people who are out of school are likely to participate in any act that could undermine the peace and security of the country.
“Abandoning our youths in the desert of the ASUU strike over the past five months is a great disservice to Nigerian youths and the nation at large.
“The federal government should give more importance to the education sector, if we really hope for a better future,” he said.
Regarding the worsening insecurity in the country, the Bishop said, “As things stand, today, nowhere is safer. Our roads are no longer safe, rail is no longer safe. And it is so evident that a greater percentage of Nigerians cannot afford air travel.
“Frequently going to places of worship, going to the market, going to school, even staying at home is no longer safe in this country. There has never been a single time in this country where insecurity has reached such a peak.
“We hereby call on the government to be mindful of its responsibility to protect the lives and property of its citizens.”
According to him, the federal government has failed Nigerians in the fight against corruption.
Akamisoko said, “The upsurge in corruption in the country is alarming. The rate at which public servants squander public funds is unparalleled.
“We call on all anti-corruption agencies to wake up from sleep, to imbue themselves with high professionalism.
“We strongly advocate that every corrupt leader be brought to justice, as this will have a chilling effect on others.”
2023 general election
He said, “As the 2023 General Elections approach, we call on Nigerians who have reached voting age to get their PVCs and do their utmost to fulfill their civic responsibility on election day.
“Nigerians need to know that we can take our destiny into our own hands by removing bad leaders and bringing in visionary leaders who can lead Nigeria to its promised land.
“We challenge candidates from parties who have already started campaigning for our votes, to focus on issues that can make Nigeria better and not on irrelevant topics.
“We want them to know that one day they will give an account of their management to God who is the greatest and the final judge of all humanity.
“We call on the electorate to carry out their mission without favour, prejudice or sentiment.
“As the body organizes the 2023 elections, it must ensure that they are free and fair. This is the only way to build the confidence of Nigerians in the nation.
The Bishop identified bad leadership as the main cause of terrorism, banditry, kidnappings and other vices in the country.
“It is on this premise that we challenge leaders at all levels of government to provide social amenities that can make life comfortable for Nigerians,” Akamisoko said.
He, however, pointed out that as part of the social responsibility of the Anglican Church in Nigeria’s capital, it has decided to invest heavily in the development of the nation’s health and education through the provision of a state-of-the-art 250-bed hospital and a comprehensive secondary school.