Amid the condemnations that have greeted Tinubu’s choice of Kashim Shettima a fellow Muslim as his running mate in the 2023 presidential election, former chief of staff to Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Hon. Tony Okocha, has asked Nigerians to de-emphasize religion and embrace competence if they want the country to make headway.
Hon. Okocha came out with this in a post he made in a Whatsapp group recently. Going down history memory lane, Okocha said religion only played up in the first half of Medieval era when church/religion and government were inexorably/inseparably linked.
According to him, at that time Religion and Religious tenets determined decisions of Government, stressing that the Roman Catholic Priests were in charge of the rims of Government.
Describing what obtained then as Theocracy administered via Cannon Laws, the former Chief of Staff said the preceding modern era was inundated with the formation of civil society divorce from the old order of the church. He stressed that the society was no more governed by Cannon laws, but by constitution and in some climes, conventions.
Here is reproduced Hon Okocha’s arguments in his own words: “In some climes, that legal document that prescribes rules, norms, Rights of individuals, etc upon which the geographical enclave is governed, called CONSTITUTION, are Written while in some, Unwritten.
In the case of NIGERIA, her CONSTITUTION is Written. Our Constitution, dubbed the Grund norm, recommends that NIGERIA is a SECULAR Nation~State. The simple explanation of this seemingly high~sounding word, is that Nigeria is Officially neutral in matters of Religion.
It means that the State should not at anytime and for any reason, promote or interfere with Religion. So, what is the hullabaloo about Muslim/Muslim or Christian/Christian or Christian/Muslim Ticket?.
Has that section of the Nigerian Constitution been amended to read differently? Or are the letters and spirit ambiguous? Did the Constitution in any section, paragraph or so, recommend elongation to Religious sect (s), as necessary/ qualifying grades for any to vote or be voted for?.
Did the Constitution recognise any two Religious inclinations, in this case, Muslims and Christians? Are Christianity and Islam the only Religions practiced in Nigeria? Do others with different Political persuasions stopped from voting and being voted for?.
When is the turn of the Atheists and African Traditional Religious Worshippers like the Lawyer who wore his Traditional native Religious attire to the Supreme Court? When was the Revenue of NIGERIA shared between the Christians and Muslims? What value/novelty (ies), has/have a Christian/Muslim or Muslim/Christian ticket as a sine~qua~non, added to the development of NIGERIA?.
We have had Shagari/Ekwueme, Obasanjo/Atiku, Yar’adua/Jonathan, Jonathan/Namadi Sambo, Buhari/Osinbajo (present).
What are the impacts akin to their various Religions? I ask specifically and particularly, What impact did the Jonathan’s Presidency bring to the Christendom in Nigeria. Was he able to build a single church as legacy project to promote his Religious conviction? Okay, what has a Buhari Presidency done to project Islamism in Nigeria.?
Shouldn’t those agitating any concern, convoke a conference like the feminine folks did in Belgian? Or Sponsor bills for the amendment of the Constitution, to expressly capture NIGERIA as a Religious State to be Governed by CANON LAWS? How has Religion promoted or assuaged the rising spate of insurgency andsp criminality?
How does Religion speak to the economic miasma in Nigeria? How would promotion of Religion solve the problem of unemployment? How has Religion deterred corruption in Nigeria? Plenty questions to ask and begging for answers
However, Speaking about the issue as a Politician, the primary concern of every Politician, is to win Election. To this end, every possible tactics and strategy and modus, shall be deployed by Political Party worth itself, to achieve the purpose.
A Politician is concerned with where and how to catch votes. Only few amateurs, hing on sentiments/patronage in choice~making and accordingly, headed to the failure lounge. HE, Senator Bola AhmedTinubu’s choice of HE, Senator Shettima is the best Political Mathematics.
I have read the resumes of the duo. One will compliment the other. They are both Votes catchers which is key to Victory for any Political Party.
They have track records of lofty achievements when they held sway in Government of Lagos and Borno respectively. They are knowledgeable about the teething and myriad problems of NIGERIA and exude the confidence and capacity to surmount them.
In summary, it is clear that Religion is not the problem of Nigeria, just as Ethnicity is not. NIGERIANS should look up to Leaderships and theories that will change her world view.
We should like Philosophers as Heraclitus whose position that CHANGE is the only permanent thing, contradicted the PERMANENCE Postulation of his teacher, Parmenides. We should think like the Philosopher who changed the world perception from Heliocentrism to Geocentrism. This should be what to challenge our leaders and in~coming leaders.
Locating the myriad problem of Nigeria in Religion and Ethnicity, is very primordial, parochial and defeatist.
I support the trail~blazer and face of democracy in Nigeria, HE, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his rightly chosen Running mate, HE, Senator Shettima, for President and Vice President of the Federal Republic of NIGERIA, 2023”.