No fewer than 5,000 Yoruba elders, majorly members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and supporters of Bola Tinubu, today, took to the streets of Lagos to protest the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket, calling for a Christian to be incorporated.
The thousands of pro-Tinubu protesters, under the aegis of Coalition of APC Stakeholders Network and Southwest Supporters of Tinubu, began their peaceful walk from Shoprite,Ikeja, to the State House, Alausa.
According to them, the only obstacle between the former Lagos State and the presidency in 2023 is his running mate, Senator Kassim Shettima.
In his address, the group’s president-general, Elder Arokoyo Samuel, described Tinubu as a “political colossus and astute political strategist” who has successfully built an enviable foundation for the party.
Elder Samuel added that, “he has also been crucial in the nation’s democracy being an important figure for almost four decades, hence his emergence as APC presidential candidate was perceived as a breath of fresh air”.
Being known as a lover of peace, tolerance and exclusivity, he said it was, however, surprising that Tinubu opted for a fellow Muslim as the APC’s vice-presidential candidate.
Rejecting the combination, he said, “As a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country, any attempt for one religion to dominate the political structure could only widen the gap of mistrust and destroy the delicate sense of tolerance cultivated over the years.
“Hence, the choice of Shettima was not only ill-timed but also a total disregard for the diversity of the country, crushing the bridges built to connect the religious differences and promote ethnic harmonious co-existence”.
The Coalition of APC Stakeholders Network and Southwest Supporters of Tinubu said it is using the peaceful protest to urge the party’s presidential candidate to drop Shettima.
“We want the best for the nation and the Muslim-Muslim ticket isn’t. This will set negative precedents for future generations. We must not fail our children,” he said.
“In place of Shettima, Tinubu should pick a Christian from the North-central. Doing so will assure the APC of higher chance of gathering more votes from the North and across the country.
“The North-central dominated by Christians played a vital role in the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections. As popular as PMB is in the North, the only times he succeeded were when he won this zone, despite always dominating the Muslim-dominated North West and North East in his previous three attempts.
“There are a good number of Christian voters in the following northern states: Kogi, Kwara, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa, Gombe, Borno, and the FCT, whose votes can be harvested to about 70 per cent if we have a northern Christian running mate on the ticket.
“Tinubu will write his name in gold should he make this bold decision. He will become the toast of Christians. Imagine the kind of momentum our leader will gather should he get the backing of almost 50 million Christians in Nigeria.
“It is our prayer that Tinubu will look beyond the surface and make this bold decision. We anticipate his timely action”.
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