If, like me, you are for the progress of Nigeria, you must be opposed to a same-religion/denomination electoral ticket the way you have been to intimate same-sex relationships. I cannot understand why anyone would want, for example, a same-religion presidential ticket, the type the All Progressives Congress was suspected of planning to yoke the country with. A Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, which public disapproval forced the party to back down on, would certainly have worsened electricity generation, asphyxiated the educational system, paralysed public health facilities, caused a devaluation of the naira, sparked capital flight, depleted the Ozone layer further and re-invited Ebola Virus.
There is also the not very small matter that we may all be forced to spot luxuriant, thorax-length beards, a development that will effectively wipe out those profit-obsessed importers of shaving powders and foams, shaving sticks and electric shavers. However, I have to admit that the alleged designers of the Muslim-Muslim ticket and many other Muslims I know are as clean-shaven as I am.
It is always better not to have a same-religion ticket, which I consider as hideous as same-sex dalliances, because it robs the society of diversity.
A mixed religion ticket is best. It guarantees national progress, as we have seen under this government and numerous ones before it. It is the cure for all societal ills, including corruption and spiritual afflictions. Christian-Muslim (invert it if you wish) presidency or governorship has done wonders for us. There is adequate electricity supply, surfeit of rink-smooth roads, world class health and educational facilities, low inflation and housing for all. It is also the solution to the insecurity ravaging the country.
The benefits are too numerous to mention. This is why I feel the pains of the Anglican Bishops in Enugu State, who are currently in a fit provoked by a looming Catholic/Catholic governorship ticket. This is a same-denomination ticket. It is different from same-religion ticket. The Anglican Church in the state believes it is being marginalised and is demanding, as recompense, that an Anglican should be made the running mate to Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate. Should the party be indifferent to its demand, the church warns, it risks losing the support of the Anglican population in the state. The party, I have to add, risks losing my support as well.
“We, the Anglican Bishops, are crying and appealing that Anglicans in Enugu State will not tolerate marginalisation and should be given the position of deputy governor of the state. For the position of governor and deputy governor to be Catholic/Catholic will not be acceptable to us,” wailed Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, Archbishop of the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province.
Now, we have to take Chukwuma and Anglicans in the state seriously, just as we should in the event of a Celestial /Celestial or Cherubim and Seraph/Cherubim and Seraph gubernatorial ticket. According to Chukuwma, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, governor between 1999 and 2007, is a Methodist. His deputy, Okechukwu Itanyi, is a Catholic. The incumbent, Sullivan Chime, a Catholic, has Sunday Onyebuchi, a Methodist, as deputy.
This is something every Nigerian of good conscience must condemn. The progress of Enugu State, presumably, has been held back by the lack of Anglican representation on the tickets that have produced governors in the state. Anglicans, I suspect, have also been frozen out from the use of amenities provided by the Anglican-hating governments in the state. They must have been denied promotion in the civil service and probably been made serfs in their home state. In short, they are living matyrs. These wrongs can only be righted by having them produce the deputy governor, one of those “spare tyres” that are not even tubeless.
I don’t know Reverend Chukwuma well enough to conclude that he must be aware that when Christians in government steal or mismanage public funds, they don’t think of denominations. I also don’t know, for sure, if he is of the view that being a Catholic damages your capacity to fair and just. I am similarly unsure if he and his colleagues are aware that Christians steal from the church and that not everyone who professes religion is religious just as not everyone that says little about religion is irreligious. What politicians have done and what they do speak much more loudly than what they say they believe.
I guess in the absence of inter-religious rivalry, the bishops have felt a need to create an intra-religious one. And it won’t surprise me to see an intra-denominational rivalry if the conditions for intra-religious rivalry are absent. Soon, we will face agitations against a male-male ticket, light-skinned-light-skinned, fat-fat ticket et al. We are incapable of breathing without agitation and it does not matter if such is sane or absurd. We just must agitate to keep us from dying.