APC MUSLIM-MUSLIM TICKET AN AFFRONT TO THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION
By Law Mefor
Most well-meaning Nigerians across divides are raising their voices against the Muslim-Muslim ticket, which Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his party, All Progressives Congress, the APC, are determined to force down the throats of Nigerians. The APC Muslim-Muslim ticket is also an affront to the Nigerian Constitution if one considers the spirit and letters of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which states… “The government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons …”
The ticket is therefore all-around in bad taste and bound to fail unless the party has perfected ways and means of circumventing the will of Nigerians in the 2023 polls. With the new electoral act, which prescribes electronic accreditation and transfer of results, rigging the 2023 general election will be an uphill task, though not impossible. And in the unlikely event that Tinubu wins with Shetima as his vice; he will spend much of his tenure trying to gain the confidence, trust and cooperation of Nigerian Christians.
The APC is facing a worse crisis with its Muslim-Muslim ticket for the reason that it is justifiably facing rejection across the board. The party had hoped to cure the poor choice of Tinubu as their flag-bearer by adding yet another Muslim. The choice of Tinubu is incurably defective in the first place for being too old and too sick and more importantly, he cannot connect with Muslim North as somebody like MKO Abiola did. For telling Nigerians that he wants to be President because it is a lifelong ambition and because he wants to continue from where Buhari stopped.
Many Nigerians are asking, what are the legacies of Buhari that Tinubu plans to continue? Nigeria is at the lowest ebbs of her national existence because of the toxic and divisive leadership of Buhari. Nigeria may be bad when the APC wrestled power from the PDP in 2015 but they have made things worse with their toxic and wrongheaded policies, actions and inactions. By the way, toxic leadership is the type, which leaves a place worse than it met it. Insecurity is now worse, ungoverned space is widening, non-state actors are growing in ranks; corruption is getting more and more institutionalised and unemployment spiralling out of control.
The Nigerian economy has almost collapsed and princes of goods have gone up by nearly 1000% compared to what they were in 2015. Dozens of Nigerians die every other day in an undeclared war and terrorism running the ring around our country. Fulani herdsmen and bandits have grown in temerity and confidence and can invade Kuje prisons in the heart of the federal capital and force a prison-break in an operation that lasted for hours unchallenged. Since 2915, at least 12 prison breaks have occurred in Nigeria freeing terrorists, murderers, armed robbers and other dangerous criminals.
Tinubu was very pivotal in bringing the APC to power in 2015, the reason he insisted that the party’s presidential ticket was his. Since the government he brought to power has proved to be the worst in the annals of the nation’s history, one had expected that Tinubu would apologize to Nigerians and proffer solutions on how to disentangle the nation from the toxic government he helped to foist on Nigerians. Instead, he told the suffering Nigerian citizenry that he plans to continue from where the same government stopped. In order words, Nigerians should brace for the country growing from worse to worst.
To underscore the impunity, the same Tinubu nominated a fellow Muslim, Shetima as his running mate, citing merit as the guiding principle that produced the man ahead of all Christian leaders in the North. May one ask: how competent is Shetima? What were the legacies of Shetima as governor of Borno state apart from allowing a much better performing Zulum to succeed him?
Was it not Shetima who ignored the letter written to him by Nwesom Wike as supervising minister of education on how to conduct exams in Chibok given Boko Haram terrorism, which eventually precipitated the kidnap of the Chibok girls with the same Shetima as governor? Kabiru Sokoto the bomber of St. Theresa Catholic church in Madala in 2013 where at least half a dozen worshippers died was arrested in Borno state government house in Abuja when the same Shetima was governor. So, is being an enabler of terrorism what Shetima is bringing to the ticket that Tinubu refers to as competence?
In what way is Shetima judged more competent than the current SGF Boss Mustafa, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state, former speaker of House of Reps Dogara Yakubu or Dame Pauline Tallen, a two-time minister and former deputy governor? Tinubu should stop insulting the Christian community in the North in particular and Nigeria in general. By doing so, he is worsening his already bad case. Tinubu ought to be outraged that he is not considered Muslim enough to represent the whole Muslims in Nigeria, especially those of the core North, the reason some APC leaders in the North are insisting on a Muslim-Muslim ticket as curative.
As said, the Tinubu ticket is incurably defective for being a sad reminder of the abysmal performance of the Buhari government, which is chiefly resulting from Buhari’s poor health and old age. Now imposing a Muslim-Muslim ticket has made the matter worse for the APC because it directly affronts and challenges the entire Christian divide in Nigeria. Even moderate and reasonable Muslims are already revolting against the ticket, an avoidable mistake made by both the party and Tinubu himself who shouldn’t have run in the first place. His time has passed as shown in his failing health. One cannot cheat or lie to nature about his age.
APC and Tinubu should be reminded that patriotic leaders resign from office when their health begins to fail and when age significantly begins to impede their performance. The CJN of Nigeria just resigned for the same reason. But Tinubu, instead, is pushing to go into the office of the President of Nigeria, one of the most stressful roles, which requires the occupant to work for an average of 15 hours a day or have the Presidency outsourced to a cabal, as Buhari has done to survive.
• Dr Law Mefor is a Senior Fellow of The Abuja School of Social and Political Thought; Tel.: +234- 905 642 4375 E-mail: email@example.com; follow me on twitter:@DrLawMefor.