• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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2023: I won’t vote for Tinubu over Muslim-Muslim ticket of APC – Onaiyekan

2023: I won’t vote for Tinubu over Muslim-Muslim ticket of APC – Onaiyekan

John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, has said that he would not vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, Bola Tinubu, due to the party’s decision to fly a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 general election.

Cardinal Onaiyekan made the disclosure while delivering a talk titled: ‘The Church as an Agent of Dialogue and Reconciliation In Our Community In Quest For a Just and Peaceful Social Order,’ at the First Synod of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo at St. Kizito Pastoral Centre, Ede, Osun State.

He said that the ruling Federal Government led by the APC must accept responsibility for the decision it made, saying that Catholic Church is not partisan.

Onaiyekan said that his decision not to vote for the APC was personal, and that every Christian, like every other Nigerian, would have to make their own decision about which political party to vote for.

He said that the Catholic Church wouldn’t direct members to vote for a particular political party, adding that the decision of APC to float Muslim-Muslim ticket was the best way it wanted to win election and that Nigerians too had a choice to either vote the party or not.

Addressing Catholic faithful and leaders of other religions such as Muslim and Traditional Religions, the Cardinal said: “You will note that the Catholic Bishop Conference has not taken any action on Muslim/Muslim ticket of All Progressives Congress (APC) on this matter.

“The reason is that Muslim/Muslim ticket is a political decision taken by APC as a party on the calculation that is their best way to win the election or assure their victory in 2023 General Election.

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“There is no point telling them not to take such decision, all you can say is that, they will have to accept responsibility for the decision they have taken. I only have one voter’s card and by God’s grace I will use it. I will definitely not vote for Muslim/Muslim ticket, that is my decision.

“But since is a political decision of a political party, what the church can do officially is bring out this fact and tell people that they should take their political decision accordingly.

“When the APC election leadership appointed Governor of Plateau State, Solomon Lalong as the Director of Campaign of APC who is a Catholic, he took the decision politically.

“The only time when we called him to order was when he dragged the name of Pope into the appointment and political discussion; he tendered his apology which was accepted by us because he is a member of Papa knight.

“APC is still considered as a legitimate party in Nigeria. Many Catholics are in APC not only as members but hold vital positions. According to our church, we are not involved in partisan politics.”

The Cardinal urged all religion adherents in the country to live in harmony and give room for dialogue as they demonstrate their faiths.

He said: “There will always be people and groups who would want to create problems, exaggerate differences and foment conflicts. But we cannot wait for everybody to be converted to the spirit of dialogue before we take steps to move ahead.”

Also speaking, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Most Rev John Oyejola, called on Nigerians to maintain religious harmony, live in peace and co-exist in love.