The debate for who should serve as the running mate to the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen Bola Ahmed Tinubu rages on, some pundits are asking him to consider His Excellency, Barr Bala James Nggilari, a former Governor of Adamawa State.
Several opinions have been presented before the presidential candidate with minority, but powerful suggestions that Tinubu should go for a Muslim -Muslim ticket.
People with such an option forgot that as two term governor of Lagos State, Tinubu did not even think about such an option.
People who want the unity of the country to be sacrificed on the altar of dirty politics of exclusion are weighing the option forgetting they may be leading him to destruction.
While the APC candidate, Tinubu, seems to have put his eye on a possible running mate from the North Eastern States of the country, many believed that Nggilari, who is a two times deputy governor of Adamawa State and a former Member of the House of Representatives should serve as a good running mate for Tinubu.
Nggilari is also a former Member of the Oputa Panel and as a lawyer, he has the Judicial experience of protecting every interest.
The Oodua Youth Parliament had called on the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sen Ahmed Bola Tinubu to pick a Northern Christian as his running mate in the 2023 Presidential election.
The Speaker, Abdulmojeed O. Oyeniyi, alleged that there is a conspiracy to sabotage Tinubu’s mandate adding that picking a Christian running mate from the Northern part of the country will give him the needed victory.
“Against the wishes of some northern elites holding onto divisive and extremist views, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) emerged as the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“But the same people who felt they have failed in their calculations have not given up. They have risen up again and this time, they want to scuttle the chances of Tinubu so that power will remain in the North for another eight years.
“They are now using their extremist Imams and youths on social media to threaten the peace of the country and subvert the victory of Tinubu that is certain if the right Christian from the North is chosen as his running mate.
“Some of these northern elites who have already shown their bigotry and intolerance even in National Television are conspiring to sabotage the South West chances of having power in 2023 after they ruled for eight years.
“They are now bent on ensuring that power is handed over to another northerner and they won’t mind undermining their own party, the APC’s chances so that Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) can win in the general election, ” the group said.
Pundits who spoke on the Oduduwa youths call said Nggilari is a good match for Tinubu’s ticket.
“A lawyer by profession with considerable experience covering the legislative, executive and judicial spectrums, a man of extreme humility, fear of God and loved by persons of all religious persuasions and not known to have vaulting political ambitions. Loyalty to Leadership is one of his hallmarks, ” Musa Bako, a Christian leader said.
He said: “Nggilari is more qualified to be the running mate of Ahmed Bola Tinubu. ”
Also, some Southern group leaders think that people advocating for a religious based ticket are malicious and are out to sabotage Tinubu’s lifetime ambition which bears a similar trade mark with the one that stopped MKO in 1993.
The Southern groups are saying that if the Muslim -Muslim ticket is allowed to go through, it will retard the integrity the Nigeria’s democracy has built both in the eyes of Nigerians and also in the eyes of the international community particularly the bilateral friendship with Britain and the United States.
“The consequence of a break down in bilateral relations with the West could weaken Nigeria might in defeating terrorism, which is already spreading accross the country as seen in bloody attack that killed worshippers in Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo on the eve of the APC primary election.
“America, British and friendly nations will simply withdraw all forms of supports in fight against terrorism, including economic aides and slam sanctions leading to more poverty in the land. We do not want this.
“Recall when in 2015 Buhari emergeged the flagbearer of the APC, he deemed it fit to run a Muslim- Christian ticket but some divisive individuals now believe it is no longer a source for concern in Asiwaju’s case because they have nothing to loose if the PDP wins, after all, Atiku is their fellow northern brother.
“This level of manipulation by the North to hold onto power by all means is certainly a recipe for disaster to the nation’s fragile unity at this point in time.
“They plotted to Scheme Asiwaju out of the contest but God in his infinite mercies ensured the emergence of Tinubu despite their scheme to put forward their preferred northern brother Ahmed Lawan.
“This braggadocious acquiescence to push their luck at holding onto power by all means is counter democratic. It is callous and insensitive for some APC northerners to mastermind and suppress the implosion of our great party after reaping from the collective input of Nigerians from across different religions, professions and the length and breadth of the nation,” the statement by the Oduduwa youths said.
According to the group, divisive people should recall that after the merger that birthed the APC, Asiwaju has been one of the key benefactors of the APC.
“Having groomed the party now that they are not having what they want (another northern candidate) they don’t mind bringing down the roof so they can migrate to the PDP to support their other brother Atiku Abubakar to succeed him.
“Little wonder that during the wedding of the president’s son last year, Atiku Abubakar was the one who served as the father of the groom. We took all that for granted not realising that they are all working as one. It is unfortunate that the north is giving Nigerians a reason to believe that they cannot act honourably. Undermining your aspirant just because he isn’t a northerner is gross disservice.
“If the north is truly one, why is it difficult to ensure a winning combination that has a broad appeal across ethno-religious lines and will guarantee the APC candidate a fair chance to secure the mandate of Nigerians just like Buhari? Are they saying that the Northern Christians who are more advanced in western education don’t have competent people? This dangerous plot against Tinubu must be stopped.
“Sadly, Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai in his characteristic manner made very uncomplimentary remarks that suggest he wants to drag Nigeria into the same mess he created in Kaduna state, the spate of insecurity in his state.
“Nasir el-Rufai in his divisive tendencies that have thrown Kaduna State into a serious mess stated a Muslim- Muslim ticket in Kaduna South Local Government and he was ignored. It wasn’t about competency because the people he imposed in Kaduna South were backward educationally.
“At the build up to the 2019 general elections el-Rufai, in his usual divisive tendency, fly a Muslim-Muslim ticket even when there were and there are still more competent people both men and women in the APC that have won several awards in their field of endeavours, but because he share extremists views, he picked a woman Muslim as his running mate so that the white men will not question the dangerous precedence.
“Even the el-Rufai and his supporters both in the state and outside the state are not ashamed of what happened in the name of an election that was characterized with poor voter turnout. At the end of it all, the gubernatorial election produced more votes than the presidential election that had high voter turnout. Many people are now happy because the new electoral law has been signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Now that Kaduna has become a hotbed of ethno-religious crisis with el-Rufai dividing the people along religious lines, is that the kind of government they hope for Asiwaju to run?
“In his acceptance speech Tinubu alluded to a united Nigeria. So, why the attempt by some northerners to start usurping the decision to come to a harmonious Nigeria? Is it because they have not been able to succeed at their dirty plan, hence the subtle quest to destroy Asiwaju’s God given mandate in an attempt to help the opposition party? Lovers of APC in all parts of the country must not support this evil plan.
“We are very much aware that this north oligarch who are pressuring Tinubu to pick a Muslim vice president, are threatening him with the false hood that the number of Muslim in the region is overwhelm higher that than that of the Christians this not true. This is the realistic population of Christians in the north,” the statement added.
Pundits believed that picking a Christian like Nggilari will help in giving Tinubu victory in the 2023 general elections.
“Suddenly, people are beginning to think there are no Christians in the North. If the election is about religion and the electronic transmission of election results is adhered to, no Muslim will be governor in Nasarawa, Gombe, Adamawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba, Benue and Kogi States.
“Therefore, we must ensure that we carry everyone along for a better society. We have qualified people that can be Tinubu’s running mate and Nggilari is one of them. Tinubu should pick him as his running mate, Yacham Kato, a Northern Christian said.
“People must be very careful because Buhari will not be on the ballot in 2023. We know those who have been voting for Buhari and we know those who have been voting for the Southerners. You must ensure that the Christian community in the North who can even produce local government chairmen in Kano, Katsina and other states have their interest protected.
“If it is about Muslim -Muslim ticket, such a presidential candidate won’t get votes in states like: Nasarawa, Gombe, Adamawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba, Benue and Kogi States. We have to carry everyone along, ” another Christian Northerner, Luka Danfulani said.