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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: CAN, Others Warn Parties As Buhari Meets Govs



• Muslim-Muslim ticket dangerous, declaration of war, CAN warns parties, vows stiff resistance


Groups including the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Catholic Society of Nigeria have warned political parties against fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 presidential election.

They gave the warning as the President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress governors and the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday intensified moves to pick Tinubu’s running mate ahead of Friday’s deadline by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Groups campaigning for Tinubu told The PUNCH that what mattered was a responsive and responsible government, not religion.

Since the emergence of Tinubu, a southern Muslim, there has been controversy over his running mate for the 2023 presidential election with CAN insisting that a Muslim-Muslim ticket was a recipe for crisis.

But the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, in an interview with Channels Television on Sunday, said competence not religion should be considered when picking a running mate.

CAN, in an open letter addressed to all political parties on Tuesday said it would take a Muslim-Muslim ticket as a declaration of war and would mobilise against political parties that adopted it.

The religious body in the letter advised politicians not to sow seeds of religious conflicts among Nigerians.

The letter which was signed by the national secretary of the association, Joseph Daramola was addressed to the chairmen of all political parties in Nigeria.

He stated that although there were reports of corruption at presidential primaries, it was a big relief that generally the activities were largely peaceful.

According to him, although it is the responsibility of political parties to pick their candidates, there is the need to strike a balance,” to guarantee that the nation enjoys peace and security after elections.

“As the umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria, we call on all the presidential candidates to choose men or women of alternative religion as their running mates. For avoidance of doubt, the CAN will not accept any presidential ticket that is Christian-Christian or Muslim- Muslim.

“This simply means that where the presidential candidate of the party is a Christian, the deputy should be a Muslim; and where the presidential candidate is a Muslim, the deputy should be a Christian.

“There should not situation where the presidential ticket of a political party in Nigeria, whether a major or minor party, will be two Christians as presidential candidate and running mate, or two Muslims as presidential candidate and running mate. All within us as Nigerians must be done to douse religious and ethnic tensions in the land.

“This minimum requirement for a valid presidential ticket in the Nigeria of today is that it is religiously diverse. With the crisis of religious fundamentalism and its mainstreaming into policymaking and administrative actions in Nigeria today, anything short of a Christian-Muslim or Muslim-Christian ticket is an undisguised effort to nurture religious conflicts and destabilize the country.”

Daramola added that in view of growing religiously motivated terrorism, including the recent attack in a church in Owo, Ondo State, “any plot to have both the President and Vice President come from the same religion is a deliberate effort to ignite the fire of religious warfare in Nigeria.

“The weaponisation of religious difference in the recent past as never before is a cause for concern and a sufficient reason for those of us who do not want this nation to go into avoidable crisis to cry out now. It will be plain disrespect for diverse religious communities in Nigeria for any party to go against common sense to foist a single religious ticket in a religious plural country with serious problems of religious extremism and violence on Nigerians. No party in Nigeria can deny the existence of credible men and women from both Islam and Christianity that can be their Presidential and running mate.

“Whereas CAN is not a partisan organisation and does not involve itself with the process of partisan politics, it has a responsibility to defend the religious freedom of Nigerian citizens, whether Christians or not. CAN has a responsibility to speak out and mobilize civic action against threats to the unity, peace and security of the Nigerian state.

“Therefore, we give notice to all political parties that we will protect the religious diversity of the Nigerian state and will “mobilize politically against any political party that sows the seed of religious conflict by presenting to Nigeria a presidential ticket that is Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian.

“We will consider such action as a declaration of war against the freedom of religion, the peace and security of the Nigerian state. We will consider such insensitive action as evidence of a deliberate action to plunge the country further into religious violence and extremism and destroy the foundations of the continuation of the Nigerian state.

“As the presidential candidates prepare to nominate their running mates, we sound the note of warning, through this letter, that only a diversified presidential ticket will be acceptable to Nigeria in line with the constitutional requirement of power sharing and the responsibility of sensitivity to Nigeria’s deep religious diversity.

“We pray that God will give the political elites the wisdom to seek peace and prosperity for the mistreated citizens of Nigeria and avoid the path of provocations that lead to violent conflict. May God guide our leaders to become statesmen and women who are dedicated to the promotion of the common good and not the mindless pursuit of destructive selfishness.”

Also, a group, the Oodua Youth Parliament, called on Tinubu to pick a northern Christian.

It said picking a Christian running mate from the Northern part of the country would give Tinubu and the APC the desired victory.

This was contained in a statement issued by the leader of the group Abdulmojeed Oyeniyi, on Tuesday.

Northern Christians and pastors under the aegis of Arewa Christians and Indigenous Pastors Association warned against the imposition of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

The group, in a statement by the chairman, Rev. Shehu Luke, stated, “The ACIPA has observed with sadness the hijack of Nigeria’s political process and perhaps our future by a few money bag politicians with the tacit conspiracy of some of our legislatures and the Presidency.

“While the recently concluded primary elections of the major political parties have a public semblance of transparency, it is obvious that there was a covert inducement of delegates through a well orchestrated machinery which influenced.”

“Competence matters’

In its reaction, the Director of Publicity, Tinubu Support Organisation, Ekiti State, Abiodun Alonge, in an interview with The PUNCH, said what mattered to Nigerians was a government that could deliver the greatest good for the greatest number of the people and not whether the president and vice president belonged to same religion or not.

Alonge said, “The issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket or Christian-Christian ticket for Nigerians as of now is a non-issue. Hunger has no religion, poverty has no religion. If a Muslim is the President of Nigeria and a Muslim is the Vice President, as long as there is good healthcare, good education, jobs and our students are in the school uninterrupted by strikes for four years, no one will say it because Muslims are in power. The same thing if a Christian is President and a Christian is vice president.”

When asked for his take on Muslim-Muslim, the leader of the Grassroots Network for Asiwaju Tinubu group, Mr Abiodun Mafe, said he was concerned about the competence and capability of the person who will fill the vice president slot of the party.

On its part, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria in a statement on Tuesday warned political parties against the imposition of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

The statement which was signed by the Secretary General of the CSN, Very Rev. Fr. Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi​​, said, “Ordinarily, there would have been nothing wrong with a Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket in a democratic dispensation if there is mutual trust and respect for the human person and where the overriding desire for seeking political office is the fostering of the common good. But one cannot really say so of our country at the moment.

“The present glaring crisis and division in the nation, a Muslim-Muslim ticket would be most insensitive and a tacit endorsement of the negative voices of many non-state actors who have been threatening this nation’s unity and peaceful coexistence without an arrest.”

Also, youths in the APC, under the aegis, of the APC Youth Progressive Forum, at a press conference in Bauchi on Tuesday rejected the Muslim/Muslim.

They therefore, called on the presidential candidate of the APC to pick a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara as his running mate.

The National Chairman of the group, Ukkasha Hamza Rahama, said the choice of Dogara, would douse tensions in the country.

Buhari, govs

Meanwhile, Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with the APC governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Although the governors declined to speak with the media after the meeting, it is believed to be in connection with last-minute hunting for a running mate for the party’s standard bearer, Bola Tinubu.

Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, led the governors to the meeting.

Attending the Villa meeting were the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; governors Babagana Zulum of Borno, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and Hope Uzodinma of Imo.

Constitution doesn’t stipulate religion as a criterion for choosing VP, says Gov Uzodimma



I’m Intimidated, My Allocation Seized – Edo Deputy Gov. Shaibu Reveals




Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu has alleged that he is being intimidated for declaring his ambition to succeed his boss, Governor Godwin Obaseki on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Shaibu, who has not been endorsed by Obaseki as his successor, complained that the allocation to his office has been withheld in the last five months, but that as the candidate to be, he would not be distracted.

Dismissing insinuations of a rift with his boss, he said he was only being threatened for declaring his bid.

“I’m sure of getting support from Edo South, Central and my own senatorial district, which is Edo North.” He told TVC.

“This because I’m completely home boy and detribalised. I have support base from across the three senatorial districts because I am a grassroots person and I relate with people seamlessly.

“I use the word that I am a street boy as I’m always with the people. So, I’m confident and sure of winning the race.

“With how they have been going after me, I have therefore, seen that I am the candidate to beat. This is why they are blocking me from declaring.

“How come I am the only one that is being asked not to contest? I am the only one that my office was relocated because I wanted to declare my intention.

“I am the only one that, close to five months now, no allocation to my office just because I declared.

“When I said I was pressed, but not distressed, I understand the kind of intimidation and oppression I have gone through.

“Notwithstanding, the truth is that all these point to the fact that I am the candidate to beat and I will not want to reveal my plans.

“I have my strategies and all I’ve done is that I refused to be distracted. I can bet you that even the Governor will support me when the time comes.”

Shaibu said he would defeat anybody anointed by Obaseki.

“Definitely, I’ll defeat the so-called candidate of the governor, not because I have the power, but because Edo people want their own and I am their own. Edo people do not want importation; they want their own.

“The problem I have with the governor is that he has allowed certain individuals that have interest in governance to come between us. He is managing in his own style and the way he feels he can manage it. I am also managing it the way I feel I can manage it.

“They are beating me and I am crying and I am buying handkerchiefs to clear the tears.

“People say we are fighting, but I’m not fighting. I’m being beaten.

“They’re doing everything to stop me, but they can’t. The truth is that Edo people have made up their mind.

“Edo people hate intimidation. Ah, the kind of intimidation and harassment I have received within this period is only God that has actually seen me through. Irrespective of the intimidation, I have resolved not to fight.

“If PDP wants to win the race, the party needs a unifier, who I am.”

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Ondo Lawmakers Meet, May Declare Aiyedatiwa Acting Governor




After the peace meeting with President Bola Tinubu in Abuja on Friday, members of the Ondo State House of Assembly will meet today (Tuesday), to discuss the polity in the state.

A source in the Assembly said one of the major issues on the Assembly agenda for today’s plenary was the consideration of whether or not to declare the state deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, as the acting governor following the long absence of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

The source said, “The House plans to sit tomorrow (Tuesday) and Aiyedatiwa may be declared acting governor during the sitting. This is part of the outcome of the meeting with President Tinubu.”

When contacted on the matter, the Speaker of the House, Olamide Oladiji, said he was at a meeting.

“I will let you know whether the meeting will be held tomorrow because we are at a meeting now; after the meeting, I will let you know,” the Speaker stated.

As of the time of filing this report, there was no information from the Speaker.

The PUNCH reports that President Tinubu last Friday met with the leadership of the Assembly and the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Ondo state in Abuja in a bid to resolve the long-drawn political crisis in the state.

The Assembly had, rising from the meeting with Tinubu, said it had dropped the move to impeach the deputy over alleged gross misconduct.

Also, Aiyedatiwa said he would push behind him the events of the past and carry all the stakeholders along.

The crisis between Akeredolu and his deputy began after the governor returned to the country from his long medical vacation in Germany.

The move by the Assembly to impeach the deputy governor had divided the lawmakers.

All parties in the Friday meeting were said to have resolved that the status quo should remain which means Akeredolu should remain the governor, Aiyedatiwa remains the deputy governor and that there should be no impeachment.

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Ondo Crisis: Aiyedatiwa Signs Undertaking As Tinubu Blocks Moves To Oust Akeredolu




Ondo Deputy Governor, Aiyedatiwa has signed an undertaking as President Tinubu blocked moves to implement Akeredolu’s removal from office.

JomogNews Nigeria had earlier reported that President Bola Tinubu stepped in to resolve the prolonged political dispute in Ondo State.

This Nigeria news platform understands that during a weekend meeting, he instructed that the existing leadership structure should remain unchanged.

Following President Tinubu’s decision, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu will continue in his role, and Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa will also retain his office, despite previous opposition from Akeredolu’s supporters.

The directive states that Deputy Governor Aiyedatiwa’s retention is conditional upon his commitment to maintaining peace in the state.

He is expected to sign a pledge of good behaviour, and the President has reportedly appointed three individuals to oversee his actions and report back.

The resolution followed a lengthy, private meeting held by President Tinubu with the involved parties at Aso Rock Villa, lasting over six hours.

Sources who spoke with Vanguard revealed that the President’s directive was to keep the current state of affairs as it is.

One of the sources said, “The President frowned at the move to declare Aiyedatiwa as acting governor and warned that such must never happen in the state.

“President Tinubu directed that the deputy governor should go and resume work as deputy governor and not as acting governor.

“He also directed that the State Executive Council should remain intact; ditto for the party exco, contrary to threats.

“The President went further to ask Aiyedatiwa to do a letter of undertaking and maintain peace in the state.

“Mr. President also appointed the SSG, Princess Oladunni, Party Chairman, Adetimehin and the Speaker of the House, Oladiji to monitor and report the deputy governor if he deviated from the resolution reached at the meeting.”

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