The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has revealed that the challenges before Nigeria are beyond the incessant spat which fanatical Muslims and Christians engage in across the country.
Tinubu made this assertion on Wednesday, at an interactive session he held with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Wednesday, in Abuja.
According to him, this has no place on the plate of any serious country in the 21st Century desirous of national development.
However, Tinubu assured CAN that the same way his administration did not discriminate against anyone either based on tribe, religion or gender when he was Lagos governor, he would not start such in office as president.
The leadership of CAN under its new president, Daniel Ukoh, presented a charter of demands to the APC presidential candidate, which included state police or a decentralised policing system, devolution of power to states, equal rights for all religions and their adherents, right to self-determination by all ethnic groups, right to control natural resources by communities that bear them, no to open grazing, and equitable electoral system that guarantees the right to vote and be voted for by all.
As Governor of Lagos, I partnered with the Christian to improve lives and foster education. For instance, I returned mission schools to their owners, most of who are Christians. I instituted yearly Christian Denomination Service at the Governor’s residence as we approached the new year. This tradition continues in Lagos.
In the exercise of government, I did not give a thought to whether a team member was Christian or Muslim, Yoruba, Igbo or Arewa. I have never lent myself to baseless prejudice and discrimination. To do so would be a recipe for failure in the governance of a diverse society and I am not a man that is familiar with failing. I never chased people out of Lagos nor made them feel unwanted. Under my administration Lagos welcomed all comers and continues to do so today.
As such, I see all Nigerians as equals and as brothers and sisters in our national family. This means no one is inherently inferior or superior to anyone else, regardless of faith, place of origin, social status and gender. Anyone who does not hold this fair and equitable view, should not run for president in a country such as ours.