- Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state has made it clear that the mission of the APC in the south is to get a president from the region
- The governor who has been a major campaigner for this agenda said Christians should not be alarmed
- He stated that he is also worried like every other Christian but believes that APC's decision to field same-faith candidate is strategic
Oyo, Ibadan - Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state has finally opened up that just like every other Christian in the country, he is also worried about the same-faith presidential ticket adopted by his party, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Channels TV reports.
The outspoken governor who is also a strong ally of Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate made this known on Sunday, September 11 at the 40th Holy Ghost Convention Dinner of The Sword of the Spirit Ministries in Ibadan, Oyo state.
Governor Akeredolu said:
“I discussed with Bishop Francis Wale Oke that presidency must come to the South. Take it or leave it, it is the minimum we can get. It must come to the South. The North cannot produce President for eight years and still want to retain it for another eight years. It is not going to work.
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“That is why under the Southern Governors’ Forum, where, luckily, God made me the chairman, kept hammering on that. It must come to the South. And when it also got to our party in APC, we fought that it must come to the South.
“I understand our feelings because I’m one of you. I am a Christian. All of us here are worried. What will be our gain, and that, why is my party, the APC throwing up a Muslim/Muslim ticket?”
Tinubu who is a Muslim by religion also fielded, Senator Kashim Shettima, another Muslim as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
The decision of the APC stalwart has sparked a lot of outrage from the Christian communities who have strongly condemned the APC for religious bigotry and sentiments.
2023: "Tinubu/Shettima combo is strategic" - Akeredolu
Governor Akeredolu while speaking at the convention noted that the decision is strategic and urged Nigerians, especially those from the south not to allow the clamour for a southern president not to go in vain.
He stated that it will be unjust for a northerner to retain the seat of power again after an almost 8 years spell by the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, said the North cannot retain power after spending eight years in office.
He appealed to Christians in the region to look beyond religious sentiments and see it from the perspective of competence and good leadership.
“Now it has come to the South West, will I now throw the baby away with the bathwater? Can I, in all honesty, do it? Should I, in all honesty, do it?
“We call it a matter of coincidence. It is a matter of conscience. All of us are here, why don’t we look at it from one angle? The buck stops on the table of the President. Do we have a capable hand who can manage the affairs if given the opportunity? Do you have a man who is bold enough to challenge incursion into our land? That is it.
“So, we want to appeal to our people that this is our time. I want to appeal to all our senior Pastors and General Overseers to help talk to their followers. We politicians can only do little. This is our time, please don’t be angry.”
2023: I don't mind Obi winning presidency - Governor Akeredolu
Meanwhile, Governor Akeredolu, has said he would be fine if either Tinubu or Peter Obi wins the 2023 elections, as long as the presidency comes to the south.
The governor said there is an understanding to rotate the presidency between northern Nigeria and southern Nigeria since 1999.
Akeredolu added that religion is not an issue in the 2023 election, but other killing issues are restructuring and rotational presidency, among others.