The Northern Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) has reminded political parties to ensure that the country’s diversity is taken into consideration in choosing their running mates.

NOSCEF expressed its opinion in a statement issued by its President, Engineer Ejoga Oyinehi Inalegwu, in its Democracy Day message.

The group warned that Muslim-Muslim, Christian-Christian tickets would be insensitive and would not be to the interest of all Nigerians.

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According to the statement, “We, therefore, appeal to all patriotic presidential candidates to avoid manipulative but dangerous and insensitive Muslim/Muslim ticket or Christian/Christian ticket that will further polarize the nation along religious lines when Nigerians are looking forward, with great expectations, for a new dawn come 2023.”

The group believed that it would be a new era and government devoid of politics of exclusion, discrimination and injustice.

NOSCEF appealed to political parties to be sensitive to the mood of the nation, stressing that they must show patriotism by avoiding any action that would throw up the lines of divide, merely to win elections rather than steps of uniting nation.

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The group stated, “We want to believe that anyone with the credentials to rule this nation from 2023, should be sensitive enough and not be a candidate that would take us back to our religious divides, through the instrument of Christian/Christian ticket or Muslim/Muslim ticket. We do not expect any patriot to, by so doing, again open the wounds for our past bitter religious divides.”

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The group advised that politicians should make deliberate efforts at avoiding playing the religious cards through such tickets and not turn around to accuse those who condemn their unpatriotic action as the culprits.

NOSCEF also condemned the killing of worshippers of St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State on Sunday.