A coalition of seven Christian groups led by the Christian Social Movement of Nigeria, CSMN, has warned Nigerians against electing any religious fundamentalist into political office during next year’s general election.
It said doing otherwise would constitute waging a cosmetic war against insurgency, as well as setting the tone for the undermining of the nation’s democracy.
A communiqué issued yesterday by CSNM Chairman, Solomon Asemota, SAN, said the call was part of the resolutions the coalition reached at the end of its conference in Abuja.
The coalition comprises the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), Legacy Initiative International, Advocates for Freedom and Democracy (AFD), Nigerian Christians in Diaspora, The Clergy Forum for Peace and Development in the Niger Delta, and the Christian Ministers Universal Forum.
According to Asemota, they were concerned at emerging “signals” towards the 2019 elections which indicated that the leading political parties in Nigeria were preparing to present candidates from the same regions and religion.
He reiterated that the national ideology bequeathed by the founding fathers of Nigeria at Independence was inclusive democracy, hence the need for all hands to be on deck to ensure that it is neither undermined nor abrogated.
The CSNM Chairman said the coalition believes that restructuring the nation should be the major agenda of 2019 elections; stressing that the foundation of Nigeria needed redressing.
The communiqué reads: “We are persuaded that the war against terror can best be won with a God-fearing leader voted into power in 2019; that electing a religious fundamentalist to lead national resistance against terror by extremists constitutes a cosmetic war against insurgency.
“We noted the need for Nigeria to make God a significant factor in conducting the affairs of the country, and that Christians should get actively involved in politics to provide the necessary balance rather than stand at the sidelines to complain against the religious and social imbalances.
“We are concerned at emerging signals towards the 2019 elections which indicate that the leading political parties in Nigeria are preparing to present candidates from the same regions and religion, to the neglect of others so long marginalized from the political space, especially the endangered northern Christians.
“We moved for Christian candidates to be encouraged to join political parties and to contest for electoral offices, especially the Presidency.
“We insisted that the foundation of Nigeria needed redressing in the form of a restructuring of the country, which should be a major agenda of the 2019 elections.”