THE RECENT announcement by All Progressives Congress, APC’s Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to go with a Muslim-Muslim ticket is sparking a fresh round of relevance of religious controversy in politics.
Sunday, while paying a Sallah visit to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired) in his home in Katsina, Tinubu announced, as his Vice President, Former Governor of Borno State, Dr. Kashim Shettima. He had said he has respect for both faiths.
It could be recalled that Tinubu was dropped by Buhari in 2014 simply because it was believed that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would not fly.
It could also be recalled that it was failure of Shettima to listen to the advice sent by the then Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, now Governor of Rivers State that was largely responsible for the kidnap of Chibok girls.
Speaking to The Telescope Nigeria, Shola Akinpelu said “It is his right to choose anybody that he like, but it is my right to know the team that is suitable to get my vote.
“We talk too much in Nigeria. We are more than the politicians and yet they ride roughshod over us. He has done his thing; we should go ahead and do our things at the poll. There should not be any further talk to this issue,
“It is an experiment; let’s see how it pans out”
Orkuma Hembe, former President of National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, stated, “How come it’s now all about competence and how do you define competence?
“Was Bola Ahmed Tinubu not competent when Buhari rejected him as VP for fear of Muslim Muslim ticket?
“Or perhaps, El Rufai’s test run in Kaduna has worked so it is time to to expand throughout Nigeria?
“For those braving the odds to support or justify a Muslim-Muslim ticket in Nigeria, I urge you all to heed to this advice. “In times like these, absolute silence or No Comment at all, remains the ONLY guarantee for a fair accommodation for your likes in the anal of posterity.
“Yes, we are free as people to make our own choices at such a time as this; but as for me and my house, we reject and viciously campaign and vote against a Muslim Muslim ticket”
An Abuja based Constitutional Lawyer, Pius Danba, Esq stated that “Muslim-Muslim ticket as per Muslim President and Muslim Vice President is a constitutional right. There is freedom of association and right to choose. In 2015 Nigerians understood for the first time that the right to vote includes right to vote for any opposition political party and that opposition party can win any election including presidential election. Those who wants Muslim-Muslim Ticket and those against it all have right to choose but none have right to insult or bully the other for his choice”
Comrade Olaposi Sunday Oginni, Ogun State Chairman of New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, sees the move by Tinubu as “Dead on arrival”.
“Tinubu and his political pundits missed it big time. Religion is going to play a major role on who takes what as the next President of Nigeria. The total disregard of larger percentages of Nigerian voters who are Christians will definitely spell doom for Bola Ahmed Tinubu and APC at the 2023 Presidential Polls.
“I see Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso coasting to victory with Yoruba Christian as Vice President.
“All Southern Christians are afraid of continued selective killings and kidnappings of Christians and Church Leaders. The Owo killing is still very fresh in our minds recognising the fact that these bandits and terrorists are mostly Muslims.
“The Muslim-Muslim ticket of His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Shettima is a political suicide”.
Dauda Sulaimon said, “Ordinarily, there would be nothing wrong with a Muslim-Muslim, Christian-Christian ticket. But Nigeria is not in the best of place now religion wise. The country is on edge and any divisive issue should not be brought up during election year.
“As much as I admire Tinubu, this is a wrong move. It shows insensitivity and may boomerang on his ambition”.
James Amadsun pointed out that “A Muslim-Muslim ticket shows the arrogance of the APC and Tinubu for that matter. What they are saying is that the Christians can go to blazes and heavens would not fall. I think politics is a game of number, he shouldn’t have tried to alienate majority of the Christian folks.
“It would be interesting to see how he is going to campaign to the Christian community in Kaduna, Jos, Benue and Southern Nigerian”.
Ayobami Adigun pointed out that “this type of issues ordinarily should not matter but we have been traumatised beyond reasoning. What we should be talking about is capability and performance.
“Can these set of people take Nigeria out of the doldrums? What are there antecedents? To cap the insult, a man that played politics with the lives of school children because he found it insulting that a PDP junior minister would be telling him how to run his state led to the kidnap of over 200 students is now the man who wants to be number 2.
“It is not going to be any hard sell, it is a non starter, a dead issue, except peoples votes would not count”.