New Telegraph

December 6, 2023

2023: Groups urge Nigerians to shun ethno-religious sentiments

A political group, Tinubu Youth Disciples (TYD), has called on Nigerian youths to put aside tribal and religious sentiments in order to build a better and united nation. TYD’s convener, Prince Koyoyo Uhrorho, who gave the charge at the group’s unveiling in Abuja, said: “At this critical stage in our country, Nigeria, the sentiments that have divided and held us down as a country should be abandoned and put aside to build a better nation.

“By divine mandate, we were born Nigerians by tribe and nationality before religion was introduced, it is therefore awkward to promote the issue of religion to the detriment of our great nation. “On the Muslim/Muslim ticket of Tinubu/Shettima, it is our take that what this country needs at this crucial time is competence and the ability to deliver.

“The problem bedeviling us today is not religion, hence the hullabaloo about the Muslim/ Muslim Tinubu/Shettima ticket is unnecessary politicised and misplaced.’’ Uhrorho further said that the group, having carefully studied and analysed the antecedents, track records, developmental stride and youth-oriented governance of the former governor of Lagos State, decided to support his candidacy for the 2023 presidential election. According to him, the group identifies with the need for the Nigerian youths to stand, galvanise and mobilise fellow youths in support of Tinubu/ Shetima mandate come 2023. He also dispelled that the notion that Nigerian youths are not in support of the Tinubu/ Shettima ticket. “It is worthy of note that a great percentage of the Nige-rian youths in politics are in the APC and are very ready to support the Tinubu/Shettima mandate.

“We hereby reassure Nigerian youths that under Tinubu/ Shettima the Nigeria’s dreams would be a reality,’’ he said. In a related development, some Christian leaders in the North also threw their weight behind the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC.

The Christian leaders under aegis of Progressive Christian Clerics, North-West Zone, said Christian faith encourages brotherliness, hence their decision to support the Tinubu/Shettima ticket. The group said Nigerians should be more concerned about electing leaders with capacity to tackle daring security challenges and economic problems militating against the country’s progress rather than issues of religious and ethnic sentiments. In a statement signed by its chairman, Rev. Moses Bitrus, the group said instead of joining to fight and grudge over the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket “we have resolved to pray to God to give us leaders with the wisdom and knowledge to govern Nigeria.” The statement further read: “Nigeria is collapsing and needs leaders with proven track record of performance that are adequately equipped to fight the threats by insurgency with all seriousness. We need committed leaders with the capacity to deliver on campaign promises without excuses once elected.

“These among several reasons are why we disagreed with Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other churches kicking against the issue of Muslim -Muslim Ticket. “Though Nigeria is a cosmopolitan state with a multiethnic and religious diversity, it is high time we begin to speak about leadership on the basis of merit, competence, experience and record of performance in choice of who leads across all tiers of government.” Noting that Tinubu and Shettima are leaders Nigerians can trust given their records as governors of Lagos and Borno states, respectively, the group said: “tThe records of their exemplary leadership in the area of religious tolerance, economic development and other indices of development are in the public domain.”

It added: “We therefore resolve to stand by our faith that preaches love for our neighbours and peaceful coexistence without any fear of intimidation to urge Nigerians to vote on basis of record of performance and not religion. “Tinubu has been married to a Christian for over 40 years and known for his good relationship with Christians across Nigeria.

Shettima was singled out as a very receptive governor, who gave priority to growth and development of Christian communities in Borno during his days as governor, so why the outcry? Religion should not be the basis for electing a president and his running mate.”

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