Monday 13 June 2022

2023: Why Nigeria cannot contemplate Muslim-Muslim ticket – Former ACF scribe, Sani

 A former Secretary-General of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Anthony Sani, has warned that a Muslim-Muslim ticket will not promote unity among the citizenry, saying the country is at moment divided along three major issues “ethnicity, religion and region”

He also said there is no way a presidential candidate can pick his own tribe, religion or someone from his region as a running mate.

Anthony Sani disclosed this during an interactive session with journalists in Jos, the Plateau State Capital on Monday.

He said, “I really don’t know why choosing a Vice President should be a problem or controversy, because the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very clear, the provision for the federal character; it provides that no any group should predominate because such will not promote unity among the citizenry. 

“And as far as Nigeria is concerned today, the dividing lines are three, which are ethnicity, religion and region and there is no way a president can pick his own tribe, religion or someone from his region.

“Therefore, if the President comes from the south, naturally the vice president will come from the north, and because religion is one of the key issues, the constitution expects that the running mate should be opposite of the president.

“In the case of Bola Tinubu of the APC, it is expected that he should choose his running mate from the north, who should be a Christian; and Tinubu has made it very clear that he is coming to unite the citizenry and not to divide them”, he explained.

“Also, in the case of Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, he can’t pick his VP from the north or a Muslim as a running mate, he is going to choose a southerner and a Christian.

“So, I’m not expecting Tinubu to pick a Muslim running mate as is been implied in some quotas”, he maintained.

On people like the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai comments on a Muslim-Muslim ticket, the former Spokesman of the Arewa Consultative Forum said, “I have heard El-Rufai talking about Muslim-Muslim ticket, and people are reacting; Kaduna State is not as diverse as Nigeria, Muslims are the majority in Kaduna, you can take both Governor and Deputy and it can succeed.

Sani who was a member of the 2014 National Conference said, “But given Nigeria of today, where there is serious division, no presidential candidate will try it. So I believe strongly that Tinubu is going to pick his running mate from the north and it is going to be a Christian.

He recalled that, in 1993, Moshood Abiola a southern Muslim picked Babagana Kingibe a northern Muslim his running mate and there was no issue but acknowledged that the times have changed.

“But as time goes on, all these politics of identity will disappear, and we are hoping that in the long run politics, morality and economy intercede”, he assured.

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