As the 9th National Assembly prepares for Tuesday’s proclamation and election of principal officers, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on federal lawmakers-elect, especially those in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to act with caution and sensitivity when electing their leaders.
The Christian body disclosed this through its National Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Evangelist Barrister Kwamkur Samuel Vondip, warning against religious domination and the need to ensure equitable representation in the 9th National Assembly leadership.
“This call has become necessary in view of the unfolding lobby for a single religion to take over as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“We wish to state that if this is allowed to go unchecked, a bad and dangerous precedence will be set which will further widen the religious fault lines of our country.
“We believe that it is fair, equitable and just for the House of Representatives in the ninth Assembly to have a Muslim/Christian balance in leadership as already being envisaged in the Senate.
CAN pointed out that with Nigeria being “a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation”, there is an urgent need for deliberate balancing in the country’s governance by ensuring “fairness and equity in religious and geographical” spread in the selection of the nation’s leadership.
Vondip said, “As a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation, there is today an urgent need for deliberate balancing in the nation’s governance to ensure fairness and equity in religious and geographical spread in the selection of the country’s leaders.
“CAN wishes to call on all men and women of honour, goodwill and patriotism to bring their influence to bear in strengthening the bonds of unity among Nigerians by calling on our political leaders, their parties and especially, our esteemed elected members of the ninth assembly to rise above narrow group interest and embrace consensus-building across religious divides.”
The national director continued, “This will go a long way in ensuring that the nation’s critical and fragile religious balance is reflected and sustained in the choice of those to lead them as presiding officers in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
“A situation where the country’s leadership structure does not reflect her diversity with control of the three arms of government in the hands of one religious group to the exclusion of others will only but heighten suspicion and give credence to the growing allegations of a grand Islamization plot by sections of the country”, CAN warned.
While congratulating all elected members of the 9th National Assembly on their victories at the polls, CAN prayed that God, who is the “maker and giver of power, positions and leadership will guide their hearts and minds as they are inaugurated in this month of June, 2019”.