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Politics of Wednesday, 3 August 2022


Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Nigeria's challenges beyond religion - Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, former APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, former APC National Chairman

A former governor of Edo state, Adam Oshiomhole, has said that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has no business in political decisions.

He spoke as a guest on Arise TV’s Morning Show on Wednesday.

The APC’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket had elicited widespread criticisms across the country, with groups such as CAN frowning at its insensitivity to Nigeria’s religious realities.

Some APC chieftains also criticised the move.

Bola Tinubu, a former Lagos governor and a southern Muslim, picked Kashim Shettima, a former Borno governor and a northern Muslim as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.

“CAN in all respects is not a political party,” said Mr Oshiomhole.

“And you do not expect people who have expectations and when they suddenly find that they are dashed to celebrate in terms of personal interests.”

Mr Oshiomole said the body should be more concerned about the character of the chosen candidates and not their religious affiliation.

“I think Nigeria’s challenges are beyond religion. If religion is the answer, we have both churches and we have more mosques. I think the issue before us which we have to spend time discussing is what will any of the presidential candidates do differently to expect a different outcome,” he said.

“I want to look at their background because none of them is new, or a stranger to public service. I want to be able to evaluate what they did before to convince me as to what they will do differently if given the opportunity.

“I think these are the issues and given the serious situation we are in, in terms of the economy, security, you name it, I think this is what we should devote them to, to be honest, for me is dysfunctional, and evidence exists that Nigeria was probably at his best where religion did not feature whether under military rule and even thereafter.”

The former chairman of the APC also said that he wants to see evidence that “Muslims are safer right now, relative to Christians or that Christians are safer relative to Muslims.”

When he was asked if Mr Tinubu will be running his campaign in “continuity or departure from the last seven years,” Mr Oshiomole said that in “apportioning blame or credit, you look at their role.”

“It is the fact that Asiwaju by himself said yes he co-founded APC. I was a co-founder governor of APC, along with Fashola and other governors.

“But he never participated in governance. Never held any position in government. He didn’t carry out any contract on behalf of the government.”

He was also asked if he was proud of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and he said that Mr Buhari “inherited a terrible economic situation.”

He added that some progress has been made in “many areas but new problems have developed.”

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