Daily Courier | Opinion

The recent emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the just concluded All progressive Congress presidential primary has brought about confusion and uncertainty as Nigerians in the Southern part of the country are against the idea of a muslim muslim ticket in the party.

I am sure it is no news that the flag bearer, Asiwaju Tinubu is a muslim yoruba man. He is infact one of the major contenders in the race with the ruling party’s structure and support and likely to be the 16th president. Nigerians are infact anxious to know who his running mate is going to be.

The role of religion is crucial in choosing our national leaders, most especially the president and vice president. Now considering many factors in the political atmosphere of the country, it is always believed that the North own the majority of the votes when it comes to deciding who rules Nigeria in the general election. Infact, it is best known that any candidate that doesn’t have the support of the Northerners is only frittering away his time in that regard.

However, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a know political guru in the history of Nigerian politics. As a national leader who obviously knows the pros and cons of choosing a muslim vice president, Nigerians are infact determined to go any length in order not to make it happen.

In a publication by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the national secretary, Mr Joseph Daramola stated that “we do not subscribe to Christian Christian or Muslim Muslim ticket, politicians can talk politics but we stand our view long before now’ CAN describe this as a threat to ‘frigile peace and unity’.

For the first time in Nigeria since democracy, the fear of two muslims leading as president and vice president has dominated the entire country. This is because Southerners believe this will become a precedent that can eventually be harmful to the peace and unity of the country through religion.

In as much as we have other religions like, traditionalists who worships ogun, oya, ifa and many others across the country, the two major religions are the only ones being considered for these important positions. Some people are of the opinion that religion should be inconsequential in the quest of choosing our leaders. The governor of Kaduna state , gov El-rufai gave the exact statement on TV while speaking on Channels tv he said “I don’t think the business of governance has anything to do with religion, I think we should look for the best person that will get the Job done and let him do that” he later proceeded by saying ‘I don’t look at people from muslim muslim or christian christian angle, most of my close friends are christians’

Looking critically into gov El-rufai’s statement, it is most likely pointing to the fact that the APC could be considering a muslim muslim ticket for the next general elections. However, majority of christians are against this mind bogging idea. Choosing a muslim muslim ticket will limit their chances of winning the hearts of christians, while choosing a christian from the North might jeopardize their chances of success against someone like Abubakar Atiku who is known and loved all over the North. Also putting into consideration governor Rabiu Kwankwanso, former governor of Kano state, the presidential flag bearer of NNPP, the Asiwaju muslim- christian ticket might as well be dead on arrival.

While some people believe that religion should not be a prerequisite for choosing the president and vice president, Some others mostly believe that if Nigeria wants to continue to live in a peaceful country, the APC should never make that grievous mistake of fielding a muslim muslim ticket. Yes, capacity, proficiency and efficiency is very important in choosing who leads the country, nonetheless, Nigeria is already at the brink of a religion war. Sentiments are already the order of the day and religion is like a timing bomb. It could blow in everyone’s faces.

Remember the death of Deborah in Sokoto. Many people have suffered the same faith because of religion. Most of these perpetrators even do more evil act because they feel no one can persecute them. In order not to be biased, christian’s have also at some point committed these heinous crimes against muslims in the past. Having pointed out these examples, imagine the two most important political positions in the country occupied by two people with the same religion. This definitely will become a disaster. Even if they have the most genuine intentions ever, it sends a message to millions that they waiting in the wings to dominate the country with their beliefs.

Let’s now look into the cons of religious influence on our political system, In the North, we have more muslims, while in the South, there are more Christians. Since the North determines who wins a general election in Nigeria, a Southern muslim must choose a Northern christian. On this note, as it stands in today’s politics, we rarely have a politically strong Northern muslim candidate. does it infact imply that no credible Southern muslim can win a general election in Nigeria without a Northern muslim vice? This will definitely stifle majority of qualified presidential candidates in the South.

Going back in history, the 1993 election in which the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) braved the odds of religious sentiments by fielding chief MKO Abiola with Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, both muslims was the most daring and unexpected outcome of all elections in Nigeria. Knowing the outcome of the June 12 election showed that Nigerians could look past balanced tickets and vote for who they indeed believe in. Now the question is, will June 12 1993 election repeat itself in 2023?

With the 17th June 2022 deadline given by the INEC to all parties to submit their running mates, Nigerians are indeed anticipating to know who Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s running mate is going to be.


Oluwayemisi .L. Ajayi is a journalist who effects change and positivity in the society through her skills. She holds a post graduate degree in advertising and public relations. She can be reached on: 08138245717 (Email: yemisilydia.ajayi@gmail.com )