2023: Muslim-Muslim Ticket, An Insult To Nigerians And A Slap To The North

We note with sadness and utter disappointment the senseless and callous decision of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the 2023 election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to pick former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima as his running mate.

Although we anticipated that the party which has no regard for inclusiveness and fairness would go for a muslim-muslim ticket, we thought the party could for once, tow the line of honour, justice and fairness by taking into consideration the feelings of other Nigerians. But the leopard as they say, can never have its spots washed away by rain. The anti-people party made good its arrogant boast that it would do what suits it and Nigerians can go to hell.

It is frightening that a party that prides itself as a progressive one could neglect the yearnings of Nigerians – as it has always done – at a time that any sane and decent group is clamouring for inclusivity. It leaves one wondering if those in the ruling party which scammed its way into power would ever repent.

Sad enough, the party which is known for making unforced errors had in the build-up to the blunder of settling for a muslim-muslim ticket, called the bluff of Christians and other ethnic minorities, not just from the North, but the entire country. Since majority of stakeholders in the APC were of the ill-intentioned opinion that competence, and not religion or region was of paramount importance for the choice of who flies the party’s ticket along with Tinubu, it therefore means that the final decision is a clandestine way to say Christians, especially from the North are bereft of competent people.

The APC should have been reasonable enough to present a ticket that shall take into consideration the colouration and temperature of the country at the moment. But they chose to thread on the path of dishonour. That is indeed an insult and a clear way of saying those who are not comfortable with the move can go-to-hell.

For the Muslim North, they can savour the temporary victory. But they should not feign ignorance of the mild insult to them. That the APC sees them as having only religion and a huge number of uneducated, unfed, unemployed street urchins as political capital is an insult we wish they wouldn’t want to bear. But what should one expect from a people that are ready to go to bed with empty stomachs, but are happy as long as one of their own is among those calling the shot at the top?

Why should the APC out of desperation, take advantage of a population because it prides itself as politically strategic more than other regions of the country? Why would the APC imagine that it has no business with what other Nigerians think about power and how it is shared?

Yes, we are aware that political parties and their candidates reserve the rights to decide those who fly their flags at elections. But we are also not oblivious of the danger of ignoring red flags that have the tendency of turning the electorates against the political parties and their candidates.

There are also claims by the proponents of muslim-muslim ticket who are mainly people with extreme Islamic views or mere tools in the hands of those who think they own the country, that a Muslim-muslim ticket once flew in the country almost to victory safe for the annulment of the 1993 Presidential election.

What they are not telling the people is the fact that Nigeria is now polarised beyond imagination and the dynamics of the polity too have changed amidst mutual suspicion, lack of trust and gross injustice have changed the complexion of Nigerian politics.

When the enemies of Nigeria tactically orchestrated and foisted two Muslims- Femi Gbajabiamila and Idris Wase – and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, all discerning minds knew that a time would come when that unpopular craze for a certain religion to attempt cornering the two top political positions in the country.

That one of the main actors in the poorly written script, Governor Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna state in a bid to further suppress the Christians in his state made a Muslim woman his Deputy in his second tenure and he has imposed her on his intended successor for another muslim-muslim ticket ahead of 2023 is a clear testament that the agenda had long been in the factory undergoing test-running and has finally manifested.

We therefore, condemn in totality, the unpopular, unsavoury, unnecessary and infamous show of shame by the APC as they intend to present a one-sided ticket to the people in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society in this age. We are not ethic jingoists or religious bigots; but we sure are not fans of politics of exclusion.

It is on that note that we call on Nigerians to roundly reject the APC ticket which is more about insulting them than seeking power to provide solution to the myriad of the nations problems. A party that has taken Nigeria back by over 100 years and has left the country on life -support has no business remaining in power, let alone doing so on a ticket that is ungodly.

A party that has brought all sectors of the nation’s economy on their knees and is desperate to destroy what is left of the country’s battered identity should be booted out of power without hesitation. Let’s all get our PVCs ready to chase out those who have made Nigeria a killing field. They don’t deserve to spend an extra minute in power come May, 2023.

Terrence Kuanum
Forum of Middle Belt Youth Presidents

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