A few days to the presidential primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was at that time an aspirant said it is his turn to be the next President.
Tinubu was seen in a video lamenting over the lack of support from those he supported into office during previous elections particularly, President Buhari and governor of Ogun State Adedapo Abiodun. Tinubu who was visibly disappointed, spoke in his local Yoruba dialect while he sought the support of delegates from Ogun State. The key point of that address was when Tinubu said it is his turn to be the next president “emi lo kan.”
Now here’s the big question, who’s turn is it to become the next President of Nigeria? Factors surrounding the answer to this question are enormous but mainly religion and region. It is not news that the North/Muslims have been in power for seven of the eight years of this current administration.
Candidates in the ruling All Progressive Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party which are the two major parties and, what seems to be a third force, Labour Party have emerged and much reactions have poured in as to the choices of their candidates.
I stumbled on a Facebook post by Bitrus Kaze, a former member representing Jos-East/Jos-South Federal Constituency. He touched on some of the issues surrounding who becomes the next president, read below.
MUCH ADO ABOUT THE MUSLIM-MUSLIM TICKET!
To my mind, the drive for Muslim-Christian ticket appears to reduce Christians in Nigeria to second-class citizens, sounds more like a battle cry of the defeated and helpless. Christians who clamor for the office of the Vice President, invariably suggest that they have accepted and are contented with or helpless about the handing over of Nigeria’s Presidency to another Muslim, eight years after President Buhari.
In my considered view, the Muslim-Muslim brouhaha is mere symptoms of the problem, the kernel of which is the handing over to another Muslim President, eight years after the reign of a President who is a Muslim. A Muslim-Muslim presidential transition simply amounts to the furtherance of what Ex-President Obasanjo aptly describes as “Fulanisation and Islamisation” of Nigeria.
The Guardian editorial of 17th June 2022 observed that Nigerians of the Christian faith rightly believe that they have suffered more than any other group from the insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, raping, and outright killings that have become the order of the day “particularly in the last seven years of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.” Fairness is not just for a Christian to be made Vice President immediately after Prof Yemi Osinbajo who has been in that office for the seventh of the eight possible years.
Christians in Nigeria should not settle for or even bother about a Muslim-Christian ticket in 2023; to me, it has little or no difference from a Muslim-Muslim ticket because both scenarios promote a presidential transition from President Buhari to another Muslim President. Consistent with the letter and spirit of Sections 14(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 to promote national unity and also command national loyalty, what amounts to fairness in my considered view is for the political parties to respect our collective religious sensibilities by working for the emergence for a Southern Christian to succeed President Buhari.
In this circumstance, to any true lover of the continued corporate existence of one Nigeria, “the OBIdient” option (burrowing from Gov Obaseki) inevitably becomes a duty, a very viable, reasonable, responsible, and justifiable one irrespective of our political party affiliations. A Christian from the South (preferably South-East) should take over from President Buhari.
I have no iota of doubt in my mind that either a Southern Christian becomes Nigeria’s President in 2023 or we inch closer, slowly but surely to fulfilling the long-term but the well-documented goal of individuals like President Buhari, who by words and deeds have never hidden their wish to make Nigeria an Islamic State. (Facebook)
While we anticipate the general elections with great hope, it is the responsibility of each of us to participate come 2023. The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has graciously extended the closing date for the Continued Voter Registration (CVR) let’s participate with due diligence to bring the Nigeria of our dreams.
Author: Kangmwa Gofwen
Lagos Bureau Chief, Nigeria