2023 Presidency: Tinubu meets CAN leadership, addresses Muslim-Muslim ticket issue

The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has met with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) ahead of the 2023 presidential election. 

The meeting, which was held on Wednesday at CAN headquarters in Abuja, is the second leg of the CAN presidential interaction session. 

Tinubu was accompanied to the meeting by his wife, Oluremi Tinubu, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Governor Abdulahi Ganduje of Kano State, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, and the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila. 

Others are former Abia State governor Orji Uzo Kalu, former governor of Benue state Senator George Akume and some party chieftains. 

Same-faith ticket controversy: The meeting allowed the APC candidate to present his plans and respond to some thorny issues that have trailed his presidential campaign, among which is the Muslim-Muslim ticket. The Christian body and several other interest groups have vehemently opposed the same-faith ticket. 

Tinubu said his decision to contest for the presidency is in line with the country’s constitution. He also allayed fears over his same-faith ticket. 

Tinubu’s campaign to CAN: Tinubu said that as governor of Lagos state, he returned missionary schools to the rightful owners and didn’t chase anyone out of Lagos. He said:

  • I seek to become Nigerian president not on religious grounds but on the Constitution. Thanks to the body for the invitation to candidates to speak of their plans for the nation,” he said. 
  • “I believe in the need for a secular government and for us to work in the interest of the country just as I did in Lagos State by returning the missionary schools to the rightful owners. 
  • “I never chased people out of Lagos. My choice of Shettima is borne out of the urgent need to address the challenges facing the country as Shettima possesses strong leadership abilities which he exhibited when he was the governor of Borno State. I wanted a progressive government that was why I selected Shettima. 
  • “Choosing a Christian running mate would have been easy but that is not the case. We have urgent challenges that do not depend on religious leanings but on the best of hands that can address it.” 

CAN responds to Tinubu: Speaking at the occasion, the CAN President Archbishop Daniel Okoh said:  

  • As an association of Christian citizens who believe in this country and continue to pray for its unity, peace, and prosperity, we have spent time reviewing the problems that hinder peace and progress in the country and are, hereby, making suggestions on how best to improve them. 
  • “We have consulted with Nigerians of diverse religious, ethnic, and social identities on the problems of the country and the solutions to them have been articulated in the strategic document we call The Charter for Future Nigeria.”