Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has promised that the All Progressives Congress, APC, would continue to respect religious diversity by balancing its presidential tickets among major faiths in the country.
This is even as he tasked religious organisations to use their platforms to enlighten Nigerians on the need to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Omo-Agege, who spoke in Abuja when he hosted members of the Christian Association of Nigerian, CAN, led by its President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, harped on the need for peaceful co-existence among the various religious bodies in the country.
Responding to a call by the CAN President opposing all-Muslim, all-Christian presidential tickets in the 2023 presidential election, he informed that the APC has always been mindful of that in its choice of candidates for elective and appointive positions.
He buttressed his argument with the 2015 APC primaries where the party averted a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket.
“On the issue of balancing in the presidential tickets of political parties, it is commendable but while I am the Deputy President of the Senate, I am also of a political party extraction which is the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“What that means in effect is I am not in a position to influence the thinking of other parties. But at least within our own APC, that is a position we have always respected and I believe we will continue to respect. In all that we do, we take that into account that we have two major faiths.
“That will continue to be our guiding principle as we move to 2023 not just in identifying and picking presidential and vice presidential candidates but also here in the National Assembly. But I will appreciate if the same message is passed on to other political parties. For us, the message has been well received but it’s like you are preaching to the converted”.
While urging the Church to pray for leaders holding political offices at all times, the Deputy Senate President emphasised the need for religious bodies to use their platforms to enlighten Nigerians on the need to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
By doing so, he said they would not only be protecting themselves against the pandemic but also their loved ones and those around them.
He threw his weight behind compulsory COVID-19 vaccination, saying this is the only way to curtail the virus.
According to him, Nigeria is not the only country to adopt mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for their workforce, citing other jurisdictions like Canada, France and Italy to support his argument.
Earlier, Rev. Ayokunle cautioned politicians against heating up the polity with unguarded utterances.
The CAN President also kicked against the idea of Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian presidential candidates and running mates ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
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