2023: Muslim/Muslim Ticket Will Dent APC’s Image-Group
A northern political group, the Nigerian Progressive Alliance (NPA), has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) against adopting a Muslim/Muslim ticket for its presidential candidature in 2023, saying such would dent the image of the party.
The group further warned that embracing such would further amplify the devilish and phantom accusation raised against President Muhammadu Buhari, while contesting in 2015, that the party was out to Islamise Nigeria.
NPA, in a release by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Dauda Sabo, after an extraordinary meeting on the State of the Nation, held in Borno State, stated that such political strategy is no longer applicable in present-day Nigeria.
Sabo opined that, though Nigeria had an experience of Abiola/Kingibe Muslim/Muslim ticket of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 1993 presidential poll, the unity of the country at that time was stronger and better that the current situation.
The NPA coordinator added that the country has never been this divided along ethnic and religious lines since 1960 when it got independence from Britain, adding that this calls for every party to shun any strategy that could ignite crisis and push the country to the brink of collapse.
Sabo said any party that adopts such a divisive joint ticket at this time would be perceived as an enemy of the nation, in view of the current political, religious and ethnic bedlams quaking the nation’s foundation and threatening its existence.
“I am one those who hold the view that competence should be the watchword in electing a president for our dear nation, but this is more of a theory than practical. Our situation can’t accommodate this for now.
“Since the advent of democracy in 1999, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that was perceived to be conservative and reactionary had always adopted Muslim/Christian module or vice versa. examples abound in Obasanjo/Atiku and Yar’Adua/Jonathan tickets, so APC can’t be an exemption.
“The APC, as a progressive party, values the unity of this nation and it can’t afford to toy with the mood of the nation that is now dangerously pulsating and inflammable waiting for a slight spark for it to detonate.
“My suggestion to the APC would always be that, if they are bringing a candidate from the predominantly Christain South, the candidacy should be balanced by a Muslim vice oresident from Muslim-dominated North.
“The APC can’t afford to gamble with the unity of this nation by adopting Muslim/Muslim ticket that it is now synonymous with drinking from a poisoned chalice.
“It would be unfathomable for our party to tread this dangerous path that poses danger and brutally inimical to the survival of the Nigerian nation, because of the soaring secession agitations from viatually all the sections of the country”, he warned.
Sabo said taking practical administrative and political steps remain the best way out of the multivarious crises rocking the nation, stressing that playing to the gallery because of the ambition of a group or individual would only exacerbate the already tensed situation.
“Since the inception of democracy in 1999, Nigeria has never witnessed the kind of deafening agitations from secession proponents, like we are experiencing now.
“Before now, it was always from the South-East alone, but now the drumbeat of secession is resonating in the South-West. Even the South-South and the North-Central are not left out.
“Though, I don’t support such unscrupulous characters and troublers of our nation, but their voices signaled that we should cement our fault lines, rather than widening the gulf,” he said.