Ahead of the 2023 elections, stakeholders across politics, ethnicity and religion have been making their stands known on who should succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
First elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019 for a second term, President Buhari's constitutional guaranteed eight-year tenure will come to an end in 2023.
While stakeholders from the south make case for a president from their region, some northern elders still want someone from their region to succeed President Buhari.
Amid the south vs north argument, an Islamic organisation, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has come up with a new position: the group does not only want a southern president; it wants the president to be a Yoruba Muslim.
In a statement on its blog on Monday, October 25, MURIC argued that no Yoruba Muslim has ever occupied Aso Rock either as a president or vice president since independence in 1960 whereas three Yoruba Christians have occupied the top two political positions.
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The statement titled, ‘2023: On Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate we stand’, was signed by the director and founder of the organisation, Prof. Ishaq Akintola.
The group subsequently listed eight names of some Yoruba Muslims “competent” to lead the country.
- Bola Tinubu - The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
- Muiz Banire - Former national legal adviser of the APC
- Ishaq Oloyede - JAMB registrar
- Dr Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat - Lagos state deputy governor
- Babatunde Fashola - Minister of works and housing
- Rauf Aregbesola - Ex-Osun state governor and current minister of interior
- Senator Fatai Buhari - Senator representing Oyo North, National Assembly
- Dr AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem - Ex-Lagos commissioner for home affairs
We did not categorically reject Christian president
Meanwhile, MURIC noted that it does not categorically reject a Christian presidential candidate in Nigeria, noting that its statement was only focused on the southwest region alone.
The statement reads partly:
"We have no objection to a Christian from any other part of Nigeria emerging as the presidential candidate. What we are saying is that a Muslim should be picked if the 2023 presidential candidature is zoned to the South West by any political party."
MURIC has no favourite political party
In addition, the Islamic group said it has no favourite political party in the country.
Nevertheless, it warned that any party that fields a Yoruba Christian as its presidential candidate should not expect any vote from Yoruba Muslims.
The statement continues:
"Any political party that picks a Yoruba Christian as its presidential candidate come 2023 should simply kiss Yoruba Muslim votes goodbye. No political party should tell us that they cannot find competent Yoruba Muslims."
2023: 16 APC governors backing Tinubu for presidency, says Adeyeye
In a similar development, the national chairman, Southwest Agenda for Tinubu (SWAGA), Senator Dayo Adeyeye has said that 16 APC governors are solidly supporting the presidential aspiration of former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Tinubu.
Adeyeye, a former minister of works, disclosed this in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital on Thursday, October 21.
He made the comment while inaugurating the parallel APC ward and local executives, adding that the governors have a keen interest in the actualisation of Tinubu’s presidential bid.