The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Stakeholders has called on leadership of the party to limit the search for the vice presidential candidate to northern Christians.
The Convener of the group, Mr. Aliyu Audu, while addressing a press conference on Monday in Abuja, said the country is deeply divided within the fault lines of ethnicity and religion, saying the ruling party cannot afford to jettison these sensibilities in critical decision making.
It noted that APC must be guided by the sense of these sensibilities in the selection of the vice presidential candidate of the party.
The group insisted that northern APC has in its fold capable individuals from the Christian faith with proven track records that can deliver just like anyone from the other faith.
It said their capability to deliver on the ideals of the party aside, they also have the capacity to win elections for the party.
It stated: “There have been arguments that vice presidential candidate which is primed to come from the north must be of the ChrIstian faith, while some others have argued that for the APC to stand the chance of winning the 2023 presidential election, the vice must be a Christian, since the South has already produced a Muslim as the presidential candidate.
“APC National Stakeholders is deeply concerned about the raging controversy which has heated the polity in the last few days. Why we are conscious of the fact that religion should not be a determining factor in the our leadership selection process, the peculiar circumstance the nation found herself calls tor do reflection in the decisions we take, so long as they bother on our national lives
“Today, the country is deeply divided within our fault lines of ethnicity and religion and we cannot afford to jettison these sensibilities in critical decision making. This is why we think that the All Progressives Congress must be guided by the sense of these sensibilities in the selection of the Vice Presidential Candidate of the party.
“To do otherwise would be to further fuel what divides us and give room for mischief makers to take advantage of our differences. Nigeria is in dire need of good governance and this can come from either a Muslim leader or a Christian leader.
“But in the spirit of nationalism, justice and fairness which the northern governors demonstrated a few days ago, the leaders of the north on whose shoulders the emergence of the Vice Presidential candidate rests must also demonstrate this spirit by ensuring that the candidate comes from the Christian faith.”