ABUJA—AHEAD of the 2023 Presidential elections, a group, Concerned Yoruba Muslim Scholars In Nigeria, CYMSN, on Tuesday, insisted that a Yoruba Muslim must emerge as President or Vice President of Nigeria.
Speaking during a press conference in Abuja, the Acting President General, CYMSN, Sheikh AbduRasheed Mayaleke, stated that the Yoruba Muslims have overtime been relegated to the background when it comes to the issues of the presidency.
Mayaleke, however, warned that serious consequences may loom should the political parties present any Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate short of a Yoruba Muslim.
He said: “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.
“We have been watching keenly the process and political parties preparation and wishes to express our great concern for looming crisis if not averted.
“The present situation where presidential candidates were chosen alternately from the North and Southern part of the country was premised on understanding of the stakeholders to salvage the country as a united nation. We are of the strong opinion that no individual personal interests should be allowed to disrupt this arrangement which is capable of heating up the polity and return the nation to another round of anarchy in the political domain.
“Secondly, 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.
“It is no longer news that the opposition People’s Democratic Party, 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 moreso that there is underlying agreement at the inception of party’s formation in 2014. The Qur’an 17:34 says ” ..And fulfill the covenant, for you will be called to account regarding the covenant”
“Muslims in Yoruba land have long been relegated to the background over the years when it comes to the issue of the presidency. This time around, it will no longer be business as usual and if the party makes the mistake of denying us the opportunity of having a Muslim President through vicious power game plan, we will not take it.
“It should be recalled that Christian – Christian ticket ruled the South west in the first republic with Chief Awolowo as Premier while Chief Akintola was his Vice despite Muslims being the majority. Also, when Gen. Gowon became the head of state, he chose Awolowo as 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 Tinubu to favor Prof Osinbajo in 2015.
“In the Southwest states till date, Christian – Christian ticket is a common phenomenon without much cry from the Muslim Ummah, why the fuss from our Christian counterparts as regards the faith of Muslim gladiators. For example, Chief Bola Ige had Chief S. M. Afolabi as Governors and deputy in Oyo State in the second republic, Chief Oyinlola paired up with Erelu Obada in the fourth republic as governor and deputy in Osun State and repeatedly in Ondo and Ekiti States.
“we want to restate that anything short of Muslim candidate from South west for the position of president come 2023 shall be roundly rejected by us and it portends grave danger to the unity of the nation.”