There is no denying the fact that Senator Ahmed Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the flag bearer of All Progressive Congress ( APC ) choice of running mate for 2023 Presidential election that brought about Muslim/Muslim ticket has generated a lot of concerns amongst Nigerians.
While some loyalists of APC have hailed Tinubu’s choice of Running mate saying it is in the best interest of their party, APC, a large number of Nigerians have also condemned Tinubu’s choice pointing out that it is not fair, in a country, like Nigeria, where people are divided along religion, ethnicity and region.
Let us read what Sani Michael Omakoji, has to say on this trending issue:
” Before I present my view on Tinubu’s choice of running mate that brought about Muslim/Muslim ticket, let me say that, I, Sani Michael Omakoji, is not a bigot, but since I will not be the only one to vote in the 2023 presidential election, my view here is based on the heterogeneous nature of Nigeria, that pays firm attention to religion, ethnicity, and region especially when it has to do with national decision.
History will remind us that Tinubu’s choice of running mate ahead of 2023 presidential election is a total replication of Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Abiola’s choice of Running mate, of 1993 presidential election.
In 1993, Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Abiola (MKO), a Westerner and a Muslim, contested an election under the platform of the Social Democratic Party ( SDP ), on a joint ticket of Muslim/Muslim that featured his Muslim Friend, Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe, from the North- East ( Maiduguri ), and they won the said election overwhelmingly against Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa, who on the under hand contested under the platform of the National Republican Convention ( NRC ), on an ideal joint ticket of Muslim/Christian with a southerner, Sylvester Ugoh, who was the then Central Bank Governor of Biafra in the Defunct breakaway Republic of Biafra.
As ‘fate’ will have it, the said election was annulled by the then Military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babagida ( IBB ), without cogent reason why he took that action.
Fast-forward, either coincidentally or incidentally, ahead of 2023 presidential election, Ahmed Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a Westerner and a Muslim has chosen, Senator Kashim Shettima, a Muslim also from the North-East ( Maiduguri ), as his running mate, under the platform of All Progressive Congress ( APC ), thereby making the joint ticket as Muslim/Muslim affairs unlike Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) a Muslim from the North who is having a joint ticket with a Christian Southerner, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, and similarly Mr Peter Obi, a Christian from the South-East of Labour Party ( LP ), has also ideally chosen Datti Baba Ahmed, a Muslim from the North as his running mate.
Having established this identical fact, between Tinubu/MKO & that of Atiku, Obi/Tofa, it is now crucial to understand the philosophies of Nigerians then and now!
Before 1993 election which MKO Abiola of the blessed memory won but was annulled by the then Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babagida, Nigerians were united against protracted military rule and because of that, whoever Civilian that could rescue power from the Military irrespective of the religion, ethnicity or region such civilian come from was not going to be a matter of concern.
It is also worthy of note that issues like nepotism, tribalism, “omayémism”, sectionalism, regionalism, and ethnicity weren’t obviously pronounced under the Military then unlike they are under the civilian rule lately especially that of President Muhammadu Buhari witnessed from 2015 till date.
Thus, Nigerians were united in their common struggle to kick the Military out of power.
However, as noted above, in today’s Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration, Nigerians are divided along region, religion and ethnicity.
For example, a review of President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments to key positions of authority from 2015 till date have/had clearly shown that Hausa/Fulani who are his kinsmen, have/had benefited more not because they are the most qualified or most merited but on the simple reason that they are his kinsmen as such they must be favoured.
No doubt, whether anyone accepts it or not, Nigerians are no longer united rather they are now pluralized along region, religion and ethnicity.
In view of the above, it is laughable for the presidential flag bearer of APC, to think that what worked for MKO Abiola in 1993 will work for him in today’s Nigeria.
Let me say that whether his decision was influenced or independent, his political advisors must have misled him big time or his instinct must have done the same to him.
Hence, in the interest of unity and oneness that Nigeria claims to represent, for any National position like position of President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representative, Head of Judiciary, Key ministerial portfolios and other juicy positions in the spirit of fairness and justice, Nigerians feel issues like region, religion and ethnicity should be considered to determine such appointments rather than concentrated in one region, in one fate or in one ethnicity.
It is on the basis of this that I, the Author of this article, Sani Michael Omakoji, wish to state that the choice of APC’s Presidential candidate ahead of 2023 election, Ahmed Asiwaju Bola Tinubu which presents Muslim/Muslim ticket is not just franked at but also a political suicidal on the part of Tinubu as it is going to affect his support.
A review on the state of the Nation should have cautioned Tinubu not to embark on this political adventure as his reasons of choosing his running mate according to him is hinged on “competence, innovation, compassion, integrity, fairness and adherence to excellence “.
As far as right-thinking Analysts are concerned, the above reasons by Tinubu are baseless and not tenable!
Now to call a spade a spade, the question analysts and some Nigerians are asking Tinubu and APC is: if truly competence, innovation, compassion, integrity, fairness and adherence to excellence are the hallmarks that informed Tinubu’s choice of Running Mate, is it that, of all the Christian politicians in the North, none of them possess the above qualities to be Tinubu’s Running Mate?
Nigerians, especially Christian Faithfuls believe that Tinubu’s choice of running mate goes beyond the qualities Tinubu himself highlighted – foreseeing that issues like victimization, marginalization, and Islamization are cooking in the air.
Finally, going by the opinion poll, except APC rig as usual, 2023 presidential election for their Flag Bearer, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the revolt votes of Christian Faithfuls which are about fifty-six percent of the total voters would be majorly directed to Mr Peter Obi of Labour Party or Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party which will eventually cost Tinubu his last attempt to be president of the most populated black Nation of the world call Nigeria.