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Why Next Senate President Should Be Christian

Dan Amor

At a time when the alleged acrimonious campaign to Islamize Nigeria by an emerging power bloc is almost gaining currency, few members of the public, the press, or the political class have never actually presumed – in context or in full- the hidden agenda of the new clique of powerful anti-Christian elements whose ultimate design is to implement the secret accord they had with their sponsors using Professor Femi Osinbajo, a pastor, as dress rehearsal. The clamour by a section of the political class to push for the emergence of a Muslim as the new Senate President in spite of the its inelegant religious statement since the Presidentelect General Muhamadu Buhari is a Muslim and the sure bait of another Muslim emerging from the Northeast as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, flies in the face of rationality.

This dangerous manoeuver puts at risks, to say the least, nothing less than the survival of the structure of our government as set in place by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which in its wisdom recognizes the Federal Character and ethno-religious paradigms of our union. If this terrible gamble scales through, what now passes for constitutional theory in our most prestigious law schools, in many of our courts, and in much of liberal society is not legal theory at all, but an egalitarian political agenda which no elected legislature will enact, thereby prompting an elite intellectual and political minority to use the courts as a means of fighting the imposition of religious agendas.

It is the view of this writer, therefore, that the country must run a democratic capitalist government that must respect the geo-religious configuration instituted by our founding fathers. The simple premise of this argument is that democratic capitalism allows man more freedom to achieve his rightful place in the universe as a creature of dignity made in the image of God than any other socio-economic system. This does not mean it is perfect. There is room for improvement. For example, poverty has not been eliminated from democratic capitalist societies. Nor does perfect justice exists in them. But when compared with other systems in the real world, democratic capitalism is vastly superior because: 1. It provides more freedom for its citizens. 2. It allows for a great deal of class mobility.3. It accommodates dissent and reform. 4. It tends to prevent power or wealth from being concentrated in the hands of the few privileged ones.

Currently, the Federation of Nigeria consists of three geo-political regions which for administrative convenience have been further split into six zones. Each of the former three regions was said to have a dual cultural make up: a territorial nucleus inhabited by members of a cultural majority and a peripheral zone inhabited by cultural minorities which include both tribes and nationalities. In any political equation whereby the Commander-in-Chief is a Muslim, as is the case in the incoming administration, it is only logical that the Chairman of the National Assembly should be a Christian, to ensure a genuine balance of faith. Now that the APC government- in -waiting is disposed to zoning the Presidency of the Eight Senate to the North central, it has to go to a Christian.

The North Central made up of the Tivs, Junkuns, Kabbas, Idomas, Yorubas, Igbiras, Biroms, and Nupes etcetera, occupying the six states of Benue, Kogi, Taraba, Niger, Plateau and Kwara, consists of Nigerians who are predominantly Christians. Whatever is zoned to them must be headed by a Christian since Christians are in majority there. It is also necessary to emphasize that since the aggregate population of all the minority ethnic nationalities in Nigeria almost outweighs that of the so-called major tribes, any attempt to toss the minorities like a dice would no longer be acceptable. In contemplating the true meaning of honour and the integrity they preach, leaders of the victorious All Progressives Congress (APC) must support the emergence inequalof a Christian minority as President of the Eight Senate.

It is indeed pertinent to note that corruption is not only poisonous when it relates to the looting of our national patrimony into private pockets. The continuation of the status quo ante and the fanatical ethnic and religious indulgence which alloys uninhibited sway over the resources and institutions of the country are the stock-in-trade of corruption. The assumption that adherents of a particular faith should and must man certain strategic positions in this big irregular estate with faulty foundations called Nigeria is at the root of the endemic political unease which is threatening to tear the country apart. In fact, there is no national consensus on the issue of restructuring the federation because some power blocs still expect to gain superiority under the old rules.

In order to extricate itself from the maze of insinuations from certain quarters that it lacks internal democracy, the APC must be careful not to repeat the mistakes of the PDP which caused the latter to lose the 2015 general and presidential elections. For example, why would a George Akume who worked so hard for the party from inception and eventually led the opposition as Minority Leader in the Senate be denied the Presidency of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly due to ethno-religious maneuvering? How then do we reward hardworking and patriotic individuals? Patriotism thrives on sacrifice and selfless service, and these can either be over-tasked or nourished. A nation where extreme individualism, selfishness and greed are fast replacing patriotism and collective drive for progress can only be inching towards the precipice, with its future shrouded in uncertainty. It is indubitable, therefore, that a Christian minority from the North central be encouraged to assume the Presidency of the Eight Senate come June 2015.

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