(By Iheanyi Ezinwo) – These are not the best of times in the socio-economic economic and political history of Nigeria. There is restiveness in the land following the inability of government to protect lives and property. Life no longer has value in a society where kidnapping, unlawful killings and destruction of farms by Fulani herdsmen have become the norm.
From the beginning, it has not been so, and the sad development is being blamed on the unwillingness of government to deal with the aberrations decisively.There are also complaints of promotion of interests of one tribe as well as religion over and above the others, and the situation is compounded by the unprecedented nepotism in appointments, without regards to the feelings and aspirations of other sections of the country who, rightly feel grossly marginalised in the seven years administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It would be recalled that, even before his assumption of office, Buhari was accused of not being broad-minded, and will end up favouring a section of the population over others. Today, many Nigerians who supported the administration are disappointed that things are falling apart in all sectors, with Christians in the north and other parts of the country being slaughtered and nobody is brought to justice.
Curiously, the miserable situation that Christians, and indeed all Nigerians are facing today is a product of a Muslim- Christian ticket, namely President Muhammadu Buhari and Pastor Yemi Osinbajo. One would have expected that the joint ticket would have been a check on the excesses of Islamic fundamentalists, but alas, that has not been the case. The point that is being made is that, while it is important to maintain a political balancing in a plural country like Nigeria, it is not a conclusive evidence that every body will be treated fairly. What matters is the tendency of the individual who is running for the number one position. In the case of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he is known to be broad minded on religious matters. And that is what matters.
Those who are crucifying Tinubu for opting for a Muslim as a running mate should realise that it is for reasons of political expediency. Electoral victory is a product of good strategy, and if the calculation that will facilitate victory for APC is a Muslim Muslim ticket, they have to go for it even if it is a hard decision. One point however is clear. Any one who will vote for Tinubu will vote for him whether or not his running mate is a Muslim. Tinubu cannot choose a Christian as a running mate just to please some persons when credible evidences show that the move will be counter productive.
We must remember that the north has ruled for eight years and it is now time for the south to produce the president. Any Christian who feels strongly against Tinubu’s decision has an option in Peter Obi of the Labour Party. Neglecting the two southern candidates and voting for another northerner is a worse decision than Tinubu’s decision, which is a child of circumstance. That decision will not be a threat to Christians in Nigeria.
What is expected of the Christian Association of Nigeria and others who are concerned is to engage Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his plan to ensure a balance that will protect the interest of all if he is elected. They can insist that certain positions be ceded to Christians. That is the way to go, as it makes no sense to throw away the baby and the bath water.