Pastor Chris Okotie of Household of God Church in Lagos has said Nigerians should be allowed to decide whether they will vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket or not.
According to him, this is better than allowing the issue to heat up the polity ahead of the 2023 presidential election in the country.
This is amid speculations that the presidential flagbearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is considering having a running mate who is Muslim like himself.
Okotie told Punch, “I call myself a consensus remedial facilitator and a solution-bringer and if I’m going to do that, I will not criticise the actors because if I do, they will not come to the table of reconciliation.
“However, the political process is democratic and if it is so, the people will decide, except it is not (democratic). So, whatever any political party is projecting in terms of its candidates, the people would have to decide if that is acceptable to them or not. That is what democracy is all about. You won’t compel them to vote for a person they don’t want to. I don’t think it’s an issue. Let the people decide what they want. That is what the democratic process is all about.”
When reminded that the menace of vote-buying had almost subverted the will of the people, he said, “I agree that pecuniary inducement is there, but at the end of the day, democracy is assent. That is why I am saying we need an interim national government because this presidential system is faulty with these abnormalities and aberrations.
“But there is nothing you can do about it as long as you are operating this system. That is why I keep coming back to the subject of changing the system so that the impunity of vote-buying can be addressed. Once we change that system, such things will be impossible. So, whether it is Christian-Christian or Muslim-Muslim, whatever it is, as far as I’m concerned, the system is faulty.”
He also called on Christians to show more interest in governance.
He added, “All I can tell you is that Christians should be more committed to our nation than they are today, because the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. He gave the earth to Adam, His only son. If we say we care about people and we want to preach salvation to them, then we must care about how they are governed and I think that is our reasonable service.”