…Says, “I’s a monster, unacceptable threat to unity.”
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
In a renewed outcry against the same-faith ticket adopted by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party for 2023 elections, President of The United Church of Christ in Nigeria (UCCN), popularly known as HEKAN, Rev. Amos G. Kiri, has described it as a monster capable of further dividing Nigerians.
Reverend Kiri expressed this view, while delivering a welcome address at a Pastoral Ordination Service for 8 Catechists, who were elevated to Reverends, on Sunday October 2, 2022 at the HEKAN Centre, Katsina Road, in Kaduna State.
“Nigeria is a secular state and still remains a secular state. No one religion is superior over the other. One of Nigeria’s biggest challenges is religion. Many people have used religion to divide us along imaginary lines.
“The Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of association and religion for every Nigerian. Our politicians have turned religion into an avenue to promote one religion over and above the other.
“The trend of Muslim-Muslim ticket is not going to augur well to us as a Nation. Nigeria has two main religions – Christianity and Islam. We have lived together as a nation tolerating each other, not minding which religion one belongs to. Suddenly, this monster called ‘Muslim-Muslim ticket’ has stirred unhealthy debate across the nation.
“What this choice seems to depict is that, no single Christian is good enough to serve as a Vice President in Nigeria or Deputy Governor in states where the two main religions are dominant. The decision by some political parties to field Muslin-Muslim as candidates, to my mind, will not be healthy for us as a nation, which is secular in nature.
“Therefore, the Muslim-Muslim ticket is unacceptable because it does not encourage inclusivity and diversity for which the founding fathers of this great country, Nigeria, encouraged right from the beginning.
“Any arrangement that does not respect, who we are as a people, is a threat to our unity and must be discouraged and discarded,” he said.
Speaking further, the HEKAN President said that, fielding candidates who are incompetent for leadership, based on religious lines, can never bring about peace, unity and dividends of democracy that Nigerians are yearning for. “I want to use this medium to call on our political leaders at all levels, to always be mindful of our secular status as a nation,” he stressed.
Reverend Kiri, in his address, announced that, “HEKAN General Church has also created three additional District Church Councils. This is to bring the church close to the people, and expand God’s Kingdom here on earth.
“The decision to create the three additional District Church Councils was part of several decisions taken by the General Church Council Meeting, held over the weekend,” he said.
According to him, the newly-created District Church Councils are, HEKAN DCC Jalingo, Taraba State, with its Headquarters in Jalingo; HEKAN DCC Yola, Adamawa State, with its Headquarters in Yola, and HEKAN DCC Kuya, with its Headquarters in Kuya.
He also informed that, “The church has also transferred some of its pastors from their present stations to the areas. This is also to meet the church’s needs and for effective service delivery, and reach the unreachable. The Transfer will take effect from 1st January, 2023,” he said.
Recall that, Kaduna APC governorship candidate also adopted Muslim-Muslim ticket for 2023 election.