A former federal commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, has taken a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC) for settling for a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 general elections.
The APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Sunday picked the former Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, as his running mate.
Clark, who reacted to the development in a statement on Monday, described the ruling party’s decision to settle for a Muslim-Muslim ticket as a confirmation of its Islamization agenda.
Such a decision, according to him, was not in consonance with the mood of the country.
The elder statesman added that the move was at variance with the principles of incisiveness and fairness.
The statement read: “I feel threatened for our beloved country because of the way things are going. Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation, with Christianity and Islam as the major religions, even though Nigeria is a secular state.
“In compliance with constitutional provisions of inclusiveness, the number one and number two positions in the country, viz-a-viz the President and Vice President have always been occupied by practitioners of the two major religions, to ensure balancing.
“It will be recalled that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu, could not be chosen in 2015 as Vice President to Muhammadu Buhari, because he is a Muslim and Muhammadu Buhari is a Muslim. Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu, in his own words confirmed this in his statement in Abeokuta, Ogun State. What has changed? One quality of a good leader is consistency. A good leader must act in the same way at all times, to all people. He must not display double standards.
“Today, what has the presidential candidate of the APC, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu done? He has picked a person of his religion, a Muslim, as his running-mate. Such choice is not inclusive, it is not good for a secular state like Nigeria.
“There is presently a sharp division in the country, even on religious lines, and all patriots are seeking ways to salvage the situation. Therefore, Alhaji Tinubu’s decision to take a fellow Muslim as his running mate, will further worsen the situation in the country. He should know that patriotism is a quality of a good leader.
“On the reasons adduced by Alhaji Tinubu on why he chose Kashim Shettima as running-mate, is the APC presidential flag bearer telling Nigerians that there are no Christians in the APC from the north who are “competent, capable and reliable?
“It is an illusion to think that except one is from the north, you may not win the election. So, the idea that unless you come from the north or you are a Muslim, or a Muslim supports you if you are not a Muslim, you cannot win an election, should immediately be jettisoned by proponents of such an idea. The north needs the south to be in power, same way the south needs the north to be in power. No one can do it alone. About 46 percent or more of Nigerians are Christians.”