Abdulwahed I. OmarNigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has described arguments of former military head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo on religious formation of presidential ticket in the 2015 general election as wrong and unconstitutional.

Speaking at the 26th annual national education conference of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in Ilorin, on Tuesday, the vice-president of NLC,  Isa Aremu, said Nigerians should not be divided on religious basis by their leaders.

The NLC boss, who said religious considerations being used by the two former leaders were not contained in the language of Nigeria’s constitution, added that the constitution did not recognise its citizens along religious lines.

“It is wrong for both former President Olusegun Obasanjo and General Muhammadu Buhari to have mentioned Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket for the 2015 presidential election. It is a wrong mindset, just like Obasanjo was wrong to say we need Muslim-Christian balance. The balance Nigeria is looking for is good governance balance. We are looking for a president as defined in Nigeria’s Constitution regardless of religious background, who is willing to guarantee welfare and security of Nigerians.

“And I am saying that is the way it is in a genuine democracy; that is what it was in our history where we are coming from. Whatever name it is being called, secularity or other stuff, let us keep religious manipulations out of our political discourse. We have paid so many prices for unnecessary division.

“If you talk of Christian-Muslim, where can we stop with that kind division, because even with both Christianity and Islam, there are sects? Nigerians are desirous of candidates who will give uninterrupted power supply, guarantee security, give employment, reinvent the industries and manage diversity for development. Who will be able to know that with fairness and justice, all of us are equal before the Almighty God. That is the way it is in America and France.

“The problem of their age as well as the bankruptcy of the age of their ideas; modern Nigerians are ordinary people who settle everywhere to work anywhere. For example, the way Obasanjo became head of state in the unfortunate coup of 1976, nobody looked at religious issue, we just moved as he was the next in command to the late General Muritala Mohammed. If it were today’s Nigeria, people would be reading double meaning to it and they would put the country in jeopardy,” he explained.

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