Vice presidential candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Kashim Shettima, has again allayed the fears of Christians across the country that APC presidential standard-bearer Bola Tinubu will Islamise Nigeria if he becomes president in 2023.
Messrs Shettima and Tinubu are Muslims.
Religion has been a sensitive issue in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.
The APC vice-presidential candidate noted that there had been so much talk about the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the party and pointed out that Mr Tinubu, a former Lagos governor, though a Muslim has a wife who “is not only a Christian but a senior pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God as well.”
The former Borno governor stated this on Thursday at the 96th Anniversary Lecture of the Yoruba Tennis Club as he defended the ruling party’s contentious Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.
Mr Shettima cited the religious diversity in Mr Tinubu’s household as an assurance that he would not Islamise Nigeria if elected president.
“Some of Asiwaju’s children are Christians,” the APC vice-presidential flag bearer stressed. “How can you convince someone that Asiwaju is going to Islamise Nigeria when he did not Islamise his own family?”
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made a similar justification as he defended the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket at the event and declared that Lagos “requires” and “deserves” the presidency.
“We deserve the presidency. In Lagos, we deserve it. Lagos requires it, and it would be by the grace of God a bigger, better and stronger nation and state that all of you would be truly proud of to have been part of,” said Mr Sanwo-Olu. “We had forgotten that in 2011 when Action Congress at that time gave a platform to Malam Nuhu Ribadu and his vice presidential candidate then was Mr Fola Adeola. It was a joint Muslim-Muslim ticket.”
He further claimed that opponents saw “a likelihood of this ticket emerging as a winner, people now want to divide us. We will say no because that is not who we are.”
He insisted that the APC Muslim-Muslim ticket was not about promoting a particular religion but it “is about leadership.”
“It is about character. It is about audacity to think. It is about the ability to be able to think deep and solve problems. We do not want to despair other candidates. We all know too well what their antecedents are,” stated the Lagos governor. “We all know too what their credentials are. But we know that as a nation, we need a strong launch pad.”
He added, “We need to think out of the box and be able to put our best foot forward.”
Source: Peoples Gazette
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