Some Yoruba Muslim Scholars have called Tinubu, Amosun, and Bankole better and worthy candidates for the 2023 All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential ticket.
Concerned Yoruba Muslim Scholars in Nigeria have told APC to give the party’s presidential ticket to Bola Tinubu, Ibikunle Amosun or Dimeji Bankole and not Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for religious reasons.
They specifically stated that the APC presidential ticket should go to a Muslim aspirant from the South-West.
Acting president of the scholars, AbdulRasheed Mayaleke, made the call at a news conference in Abuja. He alleged that Muslims in Yoruba land had long been relegated to the background over the years in terms of the presidency.
Also, assistant secretary-general of the scholars, Abideen Olaiya, said out of six states in the South-West, APC formed governments in five states.
“Therefore, APC should give its presidential ticket to South-West and to a Muslim in particular. We have three Muslims from the region who are contesting the APC presidential ticket,” he noted. “They are Senator Ahmed Tinubu, Senator Abikunle Amosun and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Demeji Bankole.”
Mr Mayaleke noted that choosing presidential candidates alternately from the North and South was premised on an understanding of the stakeholders to salvage the country as a united nation.
“We are of the strong opinion that no individual personal interests should be allowed to disrupt this arrangement which is capable of heating up the polity. The assumption and attempt to permanently disenfranchise the southern Muslims the opportunity to aspire for the highest position of president or vice president of the country is undemocratic,” the leader of the group pointed out.
He added, “It is against this backdrop that we urge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to choose a southerner, and this time around, a Muslim, as its presidential candidate. Moreso that there is underlying agreement at the inception of the party’s formation in 2015.”
Mr Mayaleke warned that if APC made the mistake of denying the Yoruba Muslims the opportunity of having a Muslim president through a “vicious power game plan, we will not take it.”
”It should be recalled that Christian – Christian ticket ruled the South-West in the First Republic with Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Premier while Chief Samuel Akintola was his vice despite Muslims being the majority. Also, when Gen. Yakubu Gowon became the military head of state, he chose Awolowo as de facto deputy,” the Yoruba Muslim group stated. “Why is it that each time a Muslim candidate is poised to emerge as president or vice that the polity is always unnecessarily heated up to favour Christians in the South-West.”
The group also cited the fate that befell MKO Abiola to favour ING head Ernest Shonekan and Olusegun Obasanjo; “and Asiwaju Tinubu to favour Prof Osinbajo in 2015.”
Mr Mayaleke restated that anything short of a Muslim candidate from the South-West as APC presidential candidate in 2023 “shall be roundly rejected.”