- Yoruba Muslim Scholars of Nigeria (YSMSN) has called for a Yoruba Muslim to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari
- Atiku faults the call of the of the south-west Muslim scholars for a Yoruba Muslim to succeed President Buhari, describes it as unfortunate
- CAN dismisses call for a Yoruba Muslim to succeed Buhari, says it does not respond to associations that are unknown
South-West Muslim Scholars have called for a Muslim of Yoruba extraction to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Punch reported that scholars under the aegis of Concerned Yoruba Muslim Scholars in Nigeria (CYMSN) said President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor should be a Muslim from the South-West region.
Their objection is coming after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar won the presidential ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Reacting to the call, PDP presidential aspirant in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, through his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, described the Muslim scholars’ objection as unfortunate.
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The acting President General of the CYMSN, Sheikh Abdulrasheed Mayaleke, argued that Yoruba Muslims have over time been sidelined when it comes to political positions.
The group warns of serious consequences should the political parties present any presidential aspirant or vice presidential candidate that are not Muslim of Yoruba extraction.
According to Mayaleke,
“The Concerned Yoruba Muslim Scholars in Nigeria has noted with deep concern the unfolding scenarios with respect to the election of candidates by political parties ahead of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
“The assumption and attempt to permanently disenfranchise the Southern Muslims the opportunity to aspire for highest position of President or Vice President of the country is undemocratic, injurious and will be resisted with all legal means available.
“It is no longer news that the opposition PDP, has chosen a Northerner as its presidential flag-bearer, even against the expectation that the candidate would come from the South based on the power rotation convention adopted.
“It is against this backdrop that we urge the ruling All Progressives Congress to choose a Southerner, and this time around, a Muslim, as its presidential candidate, more so that there is underlying agreement at the inception of the party’s formation in 2014 to that effect.”
The group vowed to reject any plot of the ruling APC to deny them the opportunity of having a Muslim President through ferocious power game play.
The group further added that,
“It should be recalled that Christian-Christian ticket ruled the South West in the First Republic with Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Premier while Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola was his Vice despite Muslims being the majority. Also, when Gen. Yakubu Gowon became the Head of State, he chose Chief Awolowo as a de facto Deputy.
“Why is it that each time a Muslim candidate is poised to emerge as President or Vice that the polity is always unnecessarily heated up to favor Christians in the South West. This is the fate that befell late Chief M.K.O Abiola to favour Chief Ernest Shonekan and Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to favour Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in 2015.”
The Assistant Secretary-General of the CYMSN, Prof. Abideen Olaiya, said that the APC currently have former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Sabur Dimeji Bankole and former Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun as aspirants that party can choose among the trio as its presidential candidate.
“What we are saying is that we are already meeting with the leadership of the APC to consider a Muslim from the South West as the next president of Nigeria. The trio of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and former Speaker of House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole are all eminently qualified for the topmost job in Nigeria.
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“And if you look at it too, the South West is being controlled by the APC in five states out of the six in the region, South-South has one APC state which is Cross River and South East two, Imo and Ebonyi states. By virtue of states in each region, South West has an edge and should be considered.”
Atiku's Aide describes the call for a Muslim of Yoruba extraction to succeed Buhari as unfortunate
Reacting to the call, Mazi Paul Ibe, who is the Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar, described the Yoruba Muslim Scholars’ objection as unfortunate.
“This is unfortunate that a religious group will veer off tandem into the political arena. However, the future that His Excellency Atiku Abubakar envisages for Nigeria is one country of one people with one future in which every tribe, tongue and faith will stand united. Above all, it is incumbent on religious and community leaders to preach peace rather than division.
“Suffice it to say that Atiku Abubakar’s fate in the 2023 presidential election will be determined by Nigerian voters who are well informed about the broken state of our political and socio-economic life.”
The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), through his Special Assistant on Media, Adebayo Oladeji, dismissed the called, saying the CAN does not react to associations it doesn't know.
“We don’t respond to story about associations we don’t know please.”
Atiku is considering Emeka Ihedioha as running mate
Legit recently revealed that Emeka Ihedioha, former PDP governor in Imo, may emerge as the running mate of Atiku Abubakar ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Sources close to the former Imo state governor said he was approached with the idea by his bosom friend, Aminu Tambuwal.
Ihedioha was Tambuwal's deputy when the Sokoto governor served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.