By Uzair Adam Imam
The National leadership of Jama’atu Izalatul Bid’ah wa Ikamatus Sunna (JIBWIS), has urged the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to desist from sticking its nose into politics.
Recently, CAN said that there must be a presidential power shift to a Christian to succeed President Buhari in 2023, a comment that continues to generate mixed reactions from Nigerians.
But in a statement on Thursday, 10th March, 2023, the National Leader of the JIBWIS, Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau, said the decision as to who should succeed who should be the business of registered political parties not CAN’s.
Bala Lau warned that CAN should not abdicate its responsibility of preaching peace and national stability for politics.
Bala Lau said: “The attention of JIBWIS Nigeria has been drawn to the widely circulated news of Christian Association of Nigeria insisting on a Christian successor for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
“This is as ill-timed as it is dangerous. The position of CAN as widely reported by Nigerian newspapers has elicited reactions that seem to have further overheated the polity. Jibwis Nigeria notes that this, a wrong move, is what you get when religious leadership indulges in decidedly-partisan campaigns.”
According to Bala Lau, CAN’s campaign of the presidential power shift to a Christian successor will not augur well for the country.
He added, “Like any responsible organisation, JIBWIS Nigeria carefully reviews the implication of CAN’s campaign for a shift of Presidential power to a Christian in 2023 with deep concern.
“To begin with, the campaign in favour of a Christian successor for President Buhari does not make sense, if we reflect on the historical reality of where and how power has resided in recent years.”
“It is common knowledge that from 1999 to date, we had Christians dominating the democratic space for 14 years. Break it down: Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a Christian was in power for 8 years and Dr Goodluck Jonathan had 6 years. Conversely, if we look closely, the Nigerian Presidents who were Muslims were two – Alhaji Umaru Musa Yaradua governed for 2 years and Muhammadu Buhari is now in his second term of 8 years. Unlike CAN, JIBWIS Nigeria is not mounting undue pressure on any political party or group by insisting on a Muslim candidate as a matter of entitlement. All we ask for is that political parties must insist on a competent, capable and upright Nigerian to be fielded.”
“CAN should not court the trouble of the nation’s political party leadership, who have the mandate to screen and nominate candidates and wait for the final verdict of the voters.”
“Most importantly, CAN should be viewed as a respected religious association and not a political party with mandate to determine what qualifies one to be a Buhari successor,” Lau concluded.