By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The National Stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) under the aiges of APC Stakeholders Forum, has rejected purported plan by the party to settle for a Muslim-Muslim ticket ahead of the 2023 general elections.
There have been arguments that Vice Presidential candidate which is primed to come from the North must be of the ChrIstian faith, while some others have argued that for the APC to stand the chance of winning the 2023 presidential election, the Vice must be a Christian, since the South has already produced a Muslim as the presidential candidate.
The forum, however, called on the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, not to listen to the advocates of a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the party in the interest of national unity.
Addressing a press conference Monday evening in Abuja, the forum which comprises of several party chieftains, youths leader and other stakeholders, said Nigeria is currently deeply divided within fault lines of ethnicity and religion and cannot afford to jettison these sensibilities in critical decision making.
Speaking on behalf of the forum, Comrade Aliu Audu, who read the position of the forum, said allowing a Christian as Tinubu’s running mate will not only promote national inclusion but will help to manage differences in Nigeria.
Audu said: “The APC National Stakeholders is deeply concerned about the raging controversy which has heated the polity in the last few days. Why we are conscious of the fact that religion should not be a determining factor in the our leadership selection process, the peculiar circumstance the nation funds herself calls tor do reflection in the decisions we take, so long as they bother on our national lives
“Today, the country is deeply divided within our fault lines of ethnicity and religion and we cannot afford to jettison this sensibilities in critical decision making. This is why we think that the All Progressives Congress must be guided by the sense of these sensibilities in the selection of the Vice Presidential Candidate of the party. To do otherwnise would be to further fuel what divides us and give room for mischief makers to take advantage of our differences.
“Nigeria is in dire need of good governance and this can come from either a Muslim leader or a Christian leader. But in the spirit of nationalism, justice and fairness which the northern governors demonstrated a few days ago, the leaders of the north on whose shoulder the emergence of the Vice Presidential candidate rests must also demonstrate this spirt by ensuring that the candidate comes from the Christian faith.
“The northern APC has in its fold capable individuals from the Christian faith with proven track record that can deliver just like anyone from the other faith. Their capability to deliver on the ideals of party aside, they also have the capacity to win elections for the party. Suffice to add that no individual wins elections for any political party, it is the collective of all and we are sure the APC can achieve this.
“The APC National Stakeholders therefore call on the APC to narrow her search of the Vice Presidential candidate of the party to a northern Christian whom we have in abundance. Doing this will ensure national inclusion, help to manage our differences and promote national unity.”