The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Rev. Samson Supo Ayokunle has thrown his weight behind the southeast geo-political zone of the country to produce Nigeria’s President in 2023.
Rev Ayokunle who is also the President of Nigerian Baptist Convention noted that Nigeria after the civil war has not recorded an Igbo presidency, stressing that the southeastern part of the country must be given sense of belonging, and be considered for the position.
Speaking exclusively with Nigerian NewsDirect, the CAN president noted that the mind of God is mightier than any political camp and permutation.
In his words, “About 49years ago since the civil war ended, no Igbo man has occupied the number one position of the country.
“To give the region a sense of belonging, the best among the easterners should be considered for the position of the presidency.
“I’ve had clamouring from the North and the Southwest, but these regions have occupied this position before.
“For Nigeria to be together as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Country, everybody have to be given a sense of belonging and with that principle, the easterners should be considered for the Presidency.
“I am addressing the whole world but I’ve said that the first thing is that beyond political calculation in this Country, the will of God is paramount. God does not think as man thinks.
“God does not look as man looks; man looks at the outward but God looks at the inward. Therefore if we would allow Him to have his way, there will be a perfect setting.
“But the situation whereby one particular region thinks it must always produce the leader of the Country will not make for peace in Nigeria because no region wants to be marginalised forever.”
Speaking on political appointment that has favoured a certain religion in the country, he explained that for Nigeria to be together, politicians must be neutral in appointment and promoting religious in the country.
Speaking further he said, “There are certain positions in which people cannot just be appointed to occupy, unless the person possess the required technical skill, technical know-how and the required experience. If there is a position for the required skills and it is known that CAN has never kept quiet in crying against lopsidedness in political appointments.
“If there are sufficient information and data to prove that there is any kind of deliberate attempts at replacing Christians with Muslims or other religious practitioner, then CAN will look into whether that has become the norm or consider whether the constitution allows for that or not.
“If it is a political victimization against the Christians then the next time, I appear in the newspaper or in the office of whoever has done that, I will call for an explanation to the world why he or she has done so.”
According to him, balancing political appointment is the key, explaining that CAN position is of God’s will to decide .
He said, “The position of CAN is that the will of God be done in the choice of the right person. Under democracy there is what we call “home grown democracy” which I think should be embraced in Nigeria as against the western democracy been employed.
“Although it might not look democratic, Home grown democracy is a democracy that gives consideration to the context in which you are practicing your democracy and makes you apply certain rules and regulations that will make you operate that democratic principle in a manner that suits and fit the peace of that setting.
Ayokunle speaking on Nigeria’s alleged Islamization, said, “The Muslims may have the right to promote Islam in this Country, but the government should not be addicted to that.
He expressed that government must be neutral in terms of religion, calling on those in government not be using their political position to promote one religion above the other.
According to him, “That’s where I will have problem with anyone. If deliberately because of religious belief, a leader wants to use his political position to subjugate other beliefs and religions to promote the one he belongs to, then that shouldn’t be the reason for him being in government and that is not what government position should be used for.
“Government or political position is to be used for the general good of all, irrespective of the religion to which you belong. Let the religious practitioners promote their religion in a way that they do not deliberately or in any way infringe on the rights of the practitioners of other religion.
“Talking about the Islamisation of Nigeria for example, if a Muslim wants to promote Islam and in that process attempts to hinder the right of Christians to promote their own believe, that is where the problem comes in.
“Anyone who desires good for Nigeria must not promote that. Any religious practitioners promoting his own religion while hindering others from promoting theirs, is definitely looking for trouble. A leader doing that is not a patriotic leader and the type of his religion must not be that of God to consider.
“So people have been talking about islamisation. When we will rise against islamisation of Nigeria is when those in power starts using their privilege position to promote their religion above others deliberately.
“Once they begin to do that they have left and outstayed their visit in office and they are no longer serving the people. They have become enemies of the nation because anyone who does not have open and broad mind to embrace all is not supposed to be in that seat.”