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Muslim-Muslim ticket: Tinubu told not to listen to Northern Governors

By John Owen Nwachukwu   Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Sunday, asked the All Progressives Congress presidenti...

By John Owen Nwachukwu


Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Sunday, asked the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to stop mulling the possibility of a Muslim as his vice-presidential candidate.


HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, stressed that the emergence of a Muslim-Muslim ticket presidency will further heighten the aggression against Christians by bandits and terrorists who claim allegiance to Islam.


The group said the alleged move by the APC is unconstitutional and violates Section 14 (3) and (4) and Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which specifically states that the principle of federal character should be reflected in the composition of the government and that no group, religious or ethnic, should dominate the other.


Reports making the rounds suggest that Tinubu may in the next few days name either Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State or Senator Kashim Shettima, as his running mate to beat the July 15 deadline by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.


The report said about 13 Muslim northern governors are pressuring Tinubu to choose them because they backed his candidacy during the fiercely-contested APC primary.


Reacting, however, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “It is crucial to warn APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, for the umpteenth time to stop his sinister plot to nominate a Muslim running mate. The nomination will endanger national unity and will divide Nigeria irretrievably. If Tinubu goes on with a Muslim running mate, the APC should just forget about Nigeria because religious war will break out and Nigeria’s case will be worse than Somalia’s.


“With President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from Katsina State, who is obviously not concerned about the terrorist attacks on Christians, what will happen when Nigeria has Muslim-Muslim Presidency? It means an Islamic state would be declared and war will kick-off!


“HURIWA urges Nigerians to reject the APC or any party that wants to foist same religion ticket on a heterogeneous and multi-religious people like Nigerians. What happens to a Muslim-Christian ticket? What happens to a Christian-Muslim ticket? If a Christian-Christian ticket can’t work, then, a Muslim-Muslim ticket should never work! Nigerians should reject such parties with their Permanent Voter Cards!


“Section 38 of the 1999 constitution recognizes all religions while Section 318 and Section 14 (3) and (4) succinctly back the principle of federal character and resist the domination of a group in the composition of the government.


”For instance, Section 318 states: “federal character of Nigeria” refers to the distinctive desire of the peoples of Nigeria to promote national unity, foster national loyalty and give every citizen of Nigeria a sense of belonging to the nation as expressed in section 14 (3) and (4) of this constitution;


“Section 14 (3) and (4) states: The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.


“(4) The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation.”


HURIWA also warned the Yakubu Mahmoud- led Independent National Electoral Commission not to play with fire by pandering to the whims and caprices of the ruling party but to conduct transparent, free, fair elections or else be prepared for war because the 2023 poll is the determinant factor if Nigeria will exist or burn to ashes and any attempt to manipulate the poll to favour the APC will be actively resisted for a long time to come just as the Rights group expressed doubts if Nigeria would survive any post-election war.


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