By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN
The political parties have submitted the names of their presidential candidates and their running mates to INEC, with little surprises. For the PDP, it is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, for the APC it is Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Kabir Masari, for the Labour Party it is Mr. Peter Obi and Dr. Doyin Okupe, while Comrade Omoyele Sowore is holding sway at African Action Congress. In my very humble view, the PDP has shown tremendous organizational skill in relation to its presidential primary election and the choice of candidates whereas the APC gives the impression of a political party that is not ready, is not organized or that is simply playing on Nigerians. In relation to our topic however, two political parties seem to be daring the people of Nigeria in the area of power rotation, that is the APC and the Labour Party. The APC has chosen a Muslim-Muslim ticket whilst the LP has chosen a Christian-Christian Southern ticket, as if both organisations live in space and are totally oblivious of the trend of things in Nigeria. Sadly enough, it was the same day that the APC announced its religiously imbalanced ticket that the people of Nigeria were in mournful mood for the mass burial of those massacred by suspected Islamic extremists, who are said not to be genuine practitioners of Islam and are not true followers of Allah. But the APC should not have shoved it in our faces with such reckless disregard. Has the APC become an extension of the Miyeti Allah group with its Muslim/Muslim contraption? What exactly is the message that this renegade party is seeking to pass to the good people of Nigeria? Having defrauded us all with its crafty Manifesto since 2015 and ran the economy of Nigeria aground, this monstrous entity is now seeking to play upon the fault lines of the Nigerian people to trigger the sensibilities of our fragile nation with its bigoted ticket.
And what do we say about His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, who claims to be leading a revolution but seeks to take Nigeria back decades in time. Is he contesting election as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church or President of Christian Association of Nigeria? In what way will his tribal alliance with Dr. Doyin Okupe advance the course of unity of Nigeria or even douse the religious tension that the Buhari administration has foisted upon us since 2015? Is he not aware that the entire Northern region of Nigeria hosts a large population of Muslims or does he intend to expel them from his own Nigeria if at all he wins the election? What about the Islamic adherents from their home States of Anambra and Ogun and indeed all over the Southern part of Nigeria? Are they all to be ostracized from the LP administration? If he cannot by now secure a trusted Muslim from the Northern part of Nigeria to balance his ticket, should that not be enough message to Obi that his time is not ripe, notwithstanding the so-called alliance being trumpeted without substance?
It is insulting enough that the APC and LP should even dare to announce their unholy combos in this fashion but it is more distasteful to term them as holding or placement options. If that were to be the case, then Obi should have just announced any Muslim from the North as his running mate and Tinubu should have announced any Christian from the North as well, since they would eventually be changed in any case. To announce a Muslim/Muslim or Christian/Christian pairing at all is a sign of the danger ahead of us for 2023. In other words, both political parties intend to keep the voters in some kind of guess work, to enable them indulge in clandestine manipulations, such as has happened in the Yobe North Senatorial District, where the APC supplanted the will of the people to smuggle in the name of Dr. Ahmed Lawan who was dusted at the presidential primary election. From all indications, we are back to the 2015 era of forced dilemma, where there is no viable option to rescue Nigeria, from what the politicians have submitted to us as their choices. If you vote for the APC Muslim/Muslim ticket, it is a continuation of the terror upon other faiths, whilst if you vote for the PDP, it will be a confirmation of the long-held notion that political power resides in the North. And Peter Obi, who should have proved the best option, is going about it as if he is not prepared for the race at all. He seems too much of a lone ranger, banking upon the disenchantment of the people with the status quo (which he is undeniably part of) to garner sympathy and support for a national election in which he is contending with political giants as they are called. This was part of the reason for the clamouring for restructuring ahead of the 2023 elections, if we are to save the nation Nigeria.
Now let me share with you the thoughts of some friends and patriots on this matter:
Gani Muhammed Ajowa:
I am not surprised at this post Comrade, you once led agitation for a Christian Governor in Lagos too.
Gani Muhammed Ajowa go and sleep. Everywhere in the world including America, religion is a big issue at election time, ask Joe Biden. Or you can’t remember the 2nd Catholic President narrative and how it was used? Even Kamala and the issue of minorities was a narrative. Okay, tell Gov Sanwo Olu of Lagos to replace his Deputy Hamzat with a Christian deputy right away. You keep posting insensitive narratives when it’s convenient or favours you all the time. Sentiment apart, he is making sense with what he is saying.
Albert Oladapo Ogunwusi:
There was a section of the 1979 constitution that expressly forbade such a ticket. The 1989 constitution however did not have such a component. In fact I was connected with MKO’s effort to disqualify Kingibe on that ground. Kingibe was not Abiola’s choice. It was the governors led by Segun Osoba who insisted on Kingibe. Paschal Bafyau, Abiola’s preferred choice, was run down in a way that I will rather not narrate the specifics. I recall that we sought the involvement of my friend, Barr. Akinjide Sadiq to try and search for such a rule. It did not exist! Now the problem is much worse because the present Constitution does not mention demographics in such an event. Section10 only talks about avoiding the adoption of state religion. I don’t see how that could be stretched to imply the result intended in this article. It is political suicide okay. But I would love to see it played out legally.
In a society/country where civil advocacy and grassroots conscientization is weak, the elites exploit primordial sentiments to weaponize their selfish agenda hiding behind religion and ethnicity.
Adeola Samuel Opeyemi:
They are looking for competency and capacity which Christians all over didn’t possess noni . Only Muslim candidate has electoral value.
Yahaya Jaji Abdullahi:
The problem is that most of the people talking against Muslim-Muslim Ticket are either PDP members or apologists. The reason why PDP fielded Atiku against Southern aspirants even when they know Buhari is about to spend eight years in power is the same reason that might warrant APC’s fielding two Muslims in their ticket. The central thing is about winning elections not appealing to the emotion of anyone. Majority of the population of Northern Xtians don’t believe in APC hence the party cannot gamble its trust to people that refused to accept them against those that believe and trust them and will massively support them….. It is just simple politics!!!
Lawrence Oko Peter:
Yahaya Jaji Abdullahi, Why would a Northern Christian vote in APC, with the carnage done in Southern Kaduna by the indifferent Jihadist El –Rufai? Why would Northern Christians vote APC, with the senseless killings in Sokoto, Abuja and elsewhere over claims of blasphemy and religious intolerance? The Northern Muslims see and classify other faiths as infidel even Muslims of other regions in Nigeria are infidels….
Akinladey MO’valiant Kennyllionaire:
Sir, Nigeria is operating a multi-party system not APC party alone. APC is a party out of many in Nigeria. If we don’t like the combination from APC, we should vote elsewhere. Democracy is a game of numbers not of religion. If the Constitution didn’t say APC can’t flag people of the same faiths, so be it, as long as we are not forced to vote for them. If Muslim-Muslim propagates superiority of faith, don’t you think if Atiku in PDP wins, it will propagate superiority of the North, when the current president is from North? Is there no superiority of faith in Ondo and Ekiti where both governors and their deputies are of Christianity faith? Or are there no Muslims in those states? Zoning and same faith are not issues in our Constitution. Many Nigerians voted in 1993 for people of the same faiths. And a minority voted against it. If APC presents people of the same faith, it’s your constitutional right to vote for or against. The winner will indicate if you are with the majority or the minority. It will become history in the end. Democracy solves many problems, not all problems.
Elder Peter Bassey:
Akinladey MO’valiant Kennyllionaire tomorrow posterity will judge you when a Christian South will choose a Christian North, I hope you won’t cry injustice. Where in the Constitution must the position of the President and Vice-President be shared north and south if not for justice and equity fairness to all, must everything be a game of numbers?
I stand with you on this. It is unthinkable, not in this present Nigeria. No religion or tribes that are devoid of competency and capacity. If they try it, we shall mobilize the church to vote against such a party! It matters. If it doesn’t matter, a brain like Adegboruwa wouldn’t be fighting against it. Sadly enough same Muslim-Muslim will not provide us with good governance, if it is certain for good governance we wouldn’t be convulsing.
So if they give Vee Pee to someone like Yakubu Dogara, Boss Mustapha, Babachir Lawal, Gov. Lalong and a host of other credible Northerners, we will not have a deliverable government, until we give to El Rufai or Kashim Shetima or Ganduje who could not deliver their states? You guys always fall flat to the antics of Fulani Muslims. They don’t want to stay off power for one day, so they want to give you reasons why it must be them. If not, between Yakubu Dogara, the only PDP man to have survived the Buhari tsunami in 2015 and El-Rufai who has turned Kaduna into the cemetery of living death, who is better?
Let everybody be prettier that Muslim-Muslim ticket is normal the same ticket that was not normal even to Tinubu in 2015 because he wants to fulfill a life AMBITION now we can justify it even if other people involved are not okay with it. Why win elections and start solving avoidable fracas?
Since APC and PDP do not believe in equity, justice and fairness any more, based on the last primaries, they can as well pick Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket from anywhere, so that people supporting such evil will come to realize that allowing evil has the consequences of hunting the supporters of such evil.
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