2023 presidency: We’ll only support Yoruba Muslim, S’West group tells APC

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From Okwe Obi, Abuja

Pan-Oduduwa group, the Concerned Yoruba Muslim Scholars in Nigeria (CYMSN), has asked the All Progressives Congress (APC) to give its presidential ticket to a Muslim of Yoruba extraction.

CYMSN acting President General, Sheikh AbdulRasheed Mayaleke, in a statement yesterday, claimed that the Yoruba Muslims have, overtime, been relegated to the background when it comes to the issues of the presidency.

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Mayaleke, however, warned of serious consequences should the political parties present any presidential or vice presidential candidate short of a Yoruba Muslim.

“The Concerned Yoruba Muslim Scholars in Nigeria has noted with deep concern the unfolding scenarios with respect to the election of candidates by political parties ahead of the 2023 General elections in Nigeria.

“The assumption and attempt to permanently disenfranchise the Southern Muslims the opportunity to aspire for highest position of president or vice president of the country is undemocratic, injurious and will be resisted with all legal means available.

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“It is no longer news that the opposition PDP, has chosen a Northerner as its presidential flag bearer, even against the expectation that the candidate would come from the south based on the power rotation convention adopted.

“It is against this backdrop that we urge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to choose a southerner, and this time around, a Muslim, as its presidential candidate more so that there is underlying agreement at the inception of party’s formation in 2014 to that effect,” he said.

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He further explained that, “it should be recalled that Christian-Christian ticket ruled the South West in the first republic with Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Premier while Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola was his Vice despite Muslims being the majority.

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“Also, when Gen. Yakubu Gowon became the head of state, he chose Chief Awolowo as a de facto deputy.

“Why is it that each time a Muslim candidate is poised to emerge as president or vice that the polity is always unnecessarily heated up to favor Christians in the Southwest, this is the fate that befell Late Chief M.K.O Abiola to favor Chief Ernest Shonekan and Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to favor Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in 2015.”

Also, CYMSN Assistant Secretary-General, Prof. Abideen Olaiya, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) currently has former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu; former House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Sabur Dimeji Bankole and former Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun as aspirants and that the party can chose among the trio as its presidential candidate.

Olaiya said: “What we are saying is that we are already meeting with the leadership of the APC to consider a Muslim from the South West as the next president of Nigeria.

“The trio of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and former Speaker House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole are all eminently qualified for the topmost job in Nigeria.

“And if you look at it too, the South West is being controlled by the APC in five states out of the six in the region, South South has one APC state which is Cross River and South East two, Imo and Ebonyi states. By virtue of states in each region, South West has an edge and should be considered.”

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