Ibraheem Ogunyemi

The Presidential candidate of the ruling party in Nigeria ,All Progressives Congress , Bola Tinubu , recently picked Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate , both of the same religion .

This decision immediately generated ire and outcry in sections of the country  .

Some arguments  state that the Constitution clearly requires the Federal Government, the embodiment and seat of Nigerian sovereignty, to be inclusive and representative in order to “promote national unity” and “command national loyalty”.

How would a muslim-muslim ticket properly represent the 100 million christians in the country?

Of course the flip side of the argument is this , is Nigeria’s problem a religious matter ? Nigerians should be more concerned about electing the most capable hands regardless of religion and ethnicity.

Members of Christian Association of Nigeria have also expectedly kicked against the ticket .

One Eder Biodun Sanyaolu, Assistant General Secretary, CAN, condemned the act, saying the move would not be supported by members.

The Vice – Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress , Kashim Shettima , has defended the ticket on numerous occasions , pointing out that himself and Bola Tinubu are not coming to represent  Muslims or Christians . They want to represent the whole country as one and redefine governance.

“We are not coming into government to represent the Muslim or Christian faith. The Sultan of Sokoto and the CAN President are competent to represent their faiths. We are the Nigerian dream team that will catapult the country to a higher pedestal and we will redefine the concept of modern governance. The Christians have nothing to fear and there is no cause for alarm because we are one people with a common destiny.”

A member of the National Assembly , Senator Smart Adeyemi has hinted that NASS is considering a proposal to ban same faith presidential ticket going forward .

Nigerians have aired their positions on the whole situation .

A resident of Lagos , Adeyemi Sesan , said ‘ I don’t care about the religion or origin of who’s contesting , I just want someone who will solve Nigeria’s problems .Things are really tough at the moment. ‘

Another lagosian , Wasiu Olaniyi , disclosed that while he is not  really concerned  about a same faith presidential ticket , he can understand the reservations of some Christian citizens. ‘If I be Christian , I  for dey vex , I no blame them’

Jabar Ololade, another concerned citizen said   “Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim ticket with Shettima will influence the decisions of some voters in the coming election. Nobody plans to make the 2023 election religion based, but the fear (of) Islamisation agenda which Buhari started is becoming too real and too scary.”

From the point of view of  John  Olokoobi , ‘muslims will never allow a Christian-Christian ticket to emerge as the President and Vice-President of the nation , why should we ? Thank God there are other options to vote for. ‘

Some citizens have outrightly called for the ban of the same faith presidential ticket , claiming that it reeks of ‘imbalance and polarity’ .


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