By Uche Chris
From the outcomes of the presidential primaries of the two main political parties in the country,APC and PDP, the next president is most likely to be a Muslim, which should be concerning to every Christian. Although, there are other candidates, who may be Christians, such as Mr. Peter Obi and Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, etc all things being equal, either Alhaji Atiku Abubakar or Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will be Nigeria’s next president in 2023. Why is this important?
For too long Christians have pretended that religion and politics are two separate worlds. This is the deception of liberal democracy, which has made government and politics, the greatest organ or agency of socialisation, isolated from man’ belief system by building a “Middle wall of partition” or separation, as the third American president, Thomas Jefferson, put it, between them. Western society, which was built on the strength of Christianity and its values, is breaking down, because of this separation.
But this is not so in Islam, which learned from the mistake of Christianity in the west, by insisting on government being subsumed and subordinated to religion. Christians in Nigeria have deceived themselves to believe that Islam would coalesce with and acquiesce to the nonsensical liberal utopia of secularism.
Well, the proof is right before their eye: Northern Muslim did not hesitate to choose another Muslim, though from the south, over better Christian candidates to ensure that their religion remains in ascendency. While Christian leaders have lived in their glass cocoons, Islam has been busy entrenching its hold on the reins of power and leadership. What some people have feared in the past has suddenly come upon us.
The unfolding scenario before us is that a Christian may never become Nigeria’s president in the near future. Infact, if Tinubu wins, the earliest time for a Christian president again will be 2039. Before now the north had sought control and domination through regional hegemony, which has remained unrealistic from their point of view, because most people are interested in political issues given its strategic importance in the allocation of resources.
Such critical role of politics in national life has been institutionalized through constitutional provisions to allay regional fears of domination and ensure equity and fairness. So power rotation has become a cardinal principle of political relationship between the north and south.
However, the question now is, can Islam achieve political domination for the north where politics had apparently failed? For the north, religion and politics are integral, and I separable. Whether by religion or politics, the end justifies the means, namely, the control of the country, which includes religion.
Already, the past seven years of President Buhari had adequately served Christians a foretaste of what control and dominance will entail: A situation where all the strategic positions are occupied by northern Muslims is as unpalatable as Apartheid.
It does not matter whether Tinubu, a southern Muslim, gets access to power; it was only possible because the north played a deft religious hand to make it possible; otherwise, he wouldn’t have come close to it.
Remember, late MKO Abiola was a Southern Muslim, who was stopped by northern Muslims. Whether in religion or politics, the goal remains unalterably the same: The control of Nigeria, to which their progenitor, Othman Dan Fodio, and his scion, Ahmadu Bello, had laid claim.
It is most unfortunate that after southerners have been subjected to second class status, their religion, Christianity, has also become a victim. Most Christians would find this situation intolerably unacceptable, but they may be crying after the milk has been spilled.
They missed it by supposing foolishly that after losing politically, they will retain their religious independence. What a misconception! Religion is a powerful instrument of social change, and political control is incomplete and indeed, untenable, without religious subjugation.
As it stands today, no Christian would be president until 2039, 16 years after Buhari, which means that Muslims would have been in power for an unbroken period of 24 years, unless Atiku or Obi wins, because after Tinubu power will return to the north.
By not zoning its presidential ticket to the south, PDP may have ensured that a Muslim, for the first time, will succeed another Muslim. Yet to Christians, it does not matter. Rev. Bosun Emmanuel had warn several years ago of a day like this; few Christian leaders paid attention.
So the emergence of Tinubu is significant regardless of the electoral outcome. It has created a precedent where Nigerians have no religious option in an election, apart from the likelihood of a monoreligion succession. This is more than a coincidence. In fact there is strong insinuation of a likely Muslim/Muslim ticket, which is the surest guarantee for an APC victory; that will be the day judgment for Christianity, because of the liberal indulgence of Christians.
By his own admission, Tinubu had stated that he wanted to run with Buhari in 2015 before a calumnious campaign allegedly sponsored by Dr. Bukola Saraki scuttled it. From all indications, Tinubu has his eyes on history: To replicate the Abiola phenomenon of Muslim/Muslim leadership at the expense of the south and Christianity.
But Christians and the south have themselves to blame by placing personal ambition above group, regional and religious interests. It is the story of the Trojan Horse. The north and Islam cannot achieve its goal without the collaboration and connivance of southerners and Christians. Because of our lack of strategic focus, and shortsightedness, we play to individual desperation, rather group objective.
The coming election is a defining moment for the south and Christianity. South Christians must rise up to defend their future and religion. Democracy is a game of numbers and the intimidation of the south and Christians by the north/Islam derives from the misconception that they don’t have the electoral numbers due to false census and voter apathy.
This myth must be exploded. Every southern state can produce a million votes which will be sufficient to protect their interest. The task ahead now is voter mobilisation to ensure that APC does not retain power. Otherwise, welcome 2039!