Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, has advised Nigerians to elect candidates based on their ability, rather than religious affiliation, to promote peace and unity in the country.
Makarfi said this on Friday in Kaduna when he received a delegation of Arewa Christians’ Political Forum (ACPF) at his residence.
He advised the group to ensure the unity of the North by not championing overzealous politicians based on religious sentiments which was capable of destroying the corporate existence in the region.
“As a nation, the basic requirement for good governance is security, and this requires all stakeholders to pursue it holistically,’’ he said.
Makarfi urged the forum to support quality leadership that would ensure peace, security and development, adding that he would do his best to assist the members in their quest.
Earlier, the Spokesman of the Forum, Mr Victor Bobai, said the visit was in line with the wider consultations by the forum to sensitise and mobilise political support in preparations for the 2015 elections.
Bobai said that the inequality and non effective representation of Christians in the North led to the emergence of the forum.
According to him, the forum is a voice for marginalised Northern Christians from the Northern states.
“Christian youth in the North should be given equal opportunities like their Muslim counterparts in the region.
“Our growth has been stunted based on discrimination; we call on our leaders to come to our aid.
“We require balance in terms of amenities, like the Almajiri Educational programme designed for Muslim youth.
“There is need for the government to balance up developmental programmes in the region to avoid acrimony,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that for months the group had been conferring with several Northern leaders with political and economic influence to come to their aid in ensuring fairness. [NAN]