2023: Tinubu Met, Resolved Muslim-Muslim Ticket Crisis With CAN Leaders

Tinubu, CAN

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has met with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the controversy that arose from the party’s choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 general elections, Daily Independent has gathered.




A credible source in the Christian body who was privy to the meeting and confirmed the development to our correspondent on Sunday said the meeting between the Christian leaders was deliberately “kept away from the media”.

According to him, the meeting took place few days before Tinubu’s trip to London where he met with Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike. Tinubu, a Muslim from South-West had picked former Borno State governor, Senator Kashim Shettima, another Muslim, as his running mate.

This, however, generated controversies with several interests kicking against it. While justifying his action in picking Shettima, Tinubu said he prioritised national growth and development above religious sentiments.

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Tinubu said Shettima’s career in politics and beyond shows that “he is eminently qualified not only to deliver that all-important electoral victory”.

The APC presidential candidate recalled that in 1993, Nigerians embraced Chief MKO Abiola and a fellow Muslim running mate, Baba Gana Kingibe, in “one of our fairest elections ever held”.

Speaking with our correspondent, our source said, “Tinubu has met with the leadership of CAN on the Muslim- Muslim issue and I believe it has been resolved.

That is why the opposition from CAN has significantly died down. I’m very much aware of the meeting between him and the Christian leaders.

“You can see the atmosphere few days ago when Tinubu attended the birthday program me of the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah. He even donated.

That is the current situation. CAN is no longer antagonistic because he has explained why he has to settle for the same faith ticket and also gave them assurance that Christians will not be relegated if he becomes president”.

When contacted, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, the spokesman for the immediate past CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle, said he could not comment on the matter as he is no longer the spokesperson.

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However, another CAN official, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, denied knowledge of any meeting with Tinubu and the leadership of the body led by Archbishop Daniel Okoh.

He also said the position of CAN has not changed on the matter. “We don’t want to respond to the issue but it is not true. There has not been any communication in that direction. CAN will always be non-partisan.

His Eminence has restated that fact again and again that we will remain non-partisan. But the decision that has been taken before on the Muslim-Muslim ticket still stands.

“Christ was all-embracing in his mission on earth. So also CAN is open. It is for every body, whether you are APC, PDP or Labour Party. Our doors are open to anybody who wants to discuss how we can move the nation forward and how there can be peace and unity in the nation”.

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