Senator Abbo resigns from supporting Tinubu in 2023
A joint Muslim-Muslim ticket by any party has the potential to cause unease in the nation, which is already divided along religious and ethnic lines, according to the impassioned conversation engendered during the past week on the topic.
No thanks to our political leaders who have repeatedly used the polity for their own selfish ends and as a result ruined the elegance of the country’s multifaceted diversity, the development has in reality raised new dust on the age-old national dilemma.
Therefore, it is improbable, unrealistic, and foolish for any political party to field a same-religion presidential joint ticket because the level of mistrust and suspicion between the two main religions in the country has reached such a high level.
Ishaku Abbo, the senator for Adamawa North, criticized APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu for choosing a Muslim as his running mate, saying that it was “very irresponsible of Tinubu to take his political survival over the stability and peace of Nigeria.”
Since then, Senator Abbo has resigned from his support of Tinubu due to the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket. The senator told Peoples Gazette over the phone on Monday morning that this was true.
The federal lawmaker continued,
“For Tinubu now to be given the ticket and turn around to do what he couldn’t achieve in 2015 despite opposition from Catholics and other Christian leaders is extremely irresponsible
He charged Tinubu with refusing to seek advice from the opposition over his desire to run for vice president and President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2015 choice of a Christian running partner.
“Buhari fought a civil war and understands the consequences of a divided nation. When Tinubu wanted to be VP in 2015, Buhari said no because he understood the importance of unity”, according to Senator Abbo.
On Sunday, Tinubu declared Kashim Shettima, a senator currently representing Borno Central and a former governor of Borno, as the vice-presidential candidate for the APC.
Ishaku Abbo described how he met with a support group in Abuja to look for Tinubu’s running mate. According to Tinubu, the committee came to the conclusion that he should not choose a Muslim to be his running mate in the 2023 presidential race.
“We sat down in Abuja and strategised, and we concluded that he should not take a Muslim as running mate. He (Tinubu) threw away the report. My conscience will not allow me to campaign for Tinubu. I am a member of CAN; I cannot deny CAN. I remain in APC. But I will take the survival of my country first over political considerations, Mr. Abbo stated.
“We cannot work for such a man“, he continued. “I will oppose (a) Christian-Christian ticket because I am invested in the stability of this country. A Christian-Christian ticket will be insensitive to Muslims of this country. The country is evenly divided among Muslims and Christians. So any government that is Muslim-Muslim will be illegitimate and will never gain the respect of Christians.”
As for the statement made by Senator Abbo, Bola Tinubu Campaign Headquarters spokesman Bayo Onanuga did not respond right away to a request for comment.
Would a Muslim-Muslim ticket work?
In any case, such a combination will seem to express the constitutional requirement that the federal character principle enshrined in Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended shall be reflected in appointments and elections of country officers. This is only a pointless exercise because the constitution does not expressly provide that presidential candidates and their vice presidential running mates must adhere to a certain religion.
Additionally, politicians and the major political parties have avoided nominating Christian-Christian or Muslim-Muslim candidates for president and vice president since the current political era began in 1999 in an effort to balance the nation’s strong religious emotions.
In fact, there had only been two major exceptions to that general rule: one in 1993 when the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) presented a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket in the persons of the late Chief Moshood Abiola from the South and Alhaji Babagana Kingibe from the North; and the other in 1983-1985 when Major-Gen Muhammadu Buhari and Major-Gen Tunde Idiagbon, both Muslims, held sway as military Head of State and deputy. However, before the winners could take the oath of office, the military nullified their election, which had been deemed to be the freest and fairest in the nation’s history. There was in fact no documentation of Christian opposition at the time.
The Abiola-Kingibe SPD ticket performed better in the Kano constituency than their rival NRC Bashir Tofa-Sylvester Ugoh ticket, according to already verified results. Bashir Tofa was a native of Kano. In the same vein, the Tofa-Ugoh ticket performed better than Abiola-Kingibe in Rivers State, the SDP’s South-South stronghold at the time. Such was the beauty of political diversity in the nation, which we currently seem to have lost to ineffective leadership.
The names of potential nominees for that award have already leaked and are spreading, and this is what has increased the level of controversy. The APC presidential candidate may have revealed his running mate by the time this editorial is read today.
In contrast to the 1993 situation, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has come out categorically to denounce any such arrangement, emphasizing that it would not accept it. Its position is supported by the obvious fact that Nigerians of the Christian faithful have claimed that they have suffered more than any other group from the insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, raping, and outright killings that have become the nation’s hallmark.
- So you believe this would work out clean?