President Muhammadu Buhari is not in support of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) parading a Muslim Muslim presidential ticket in the 2023 General elections, Daily Independent has gathered.
A presidency source who spoke with our correspondent on Tuesday said just like in 2014 when he rejected the choice of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a Muslim as his running mate, the president still believes that a Muslim-Muslim ticket may spell doom for the APC especially with the major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) parading a Muslim- Christian ticket.
The President on Tuesday, held a closed door meeting with APC governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja as deliberations continues on the choice of running mate to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the party’s presidential candidate.
Already, many prominent Nigerians, APC stakeholders and groups, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) have publicly condemned and started mobilising their members against any party that parades a Muslim- Muslim ticket.
“The President still believes that just like in the 2015 presidential election, the APC fielding two Muslims as presidential and vice presidential candidates may not augur well for the party. The opposition might latch on to that to get the support of the Christian community”, our source said.
Those in support of Muslim-Muslim ticket in APC had claimed that the party does not have strong, popular northern Christian candidates that can get votes in the region for APC during the election.
However, those against the idea have pushed forward names of Northern Christians such as Governor Simon Lalong and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha and Yakubu Dogara, former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Speaking with DAILY INDEPENDENT, a party chieftain opposed to the Muslim-Muslim ticket said the APC has enough Christians in the North to field as Tinubu’s running mate.
“Their argument that APC does not have strong Northern Christians does not hold water. How popular was Osinbajo when he was nominated and presented to Buhari as running mate in 2014?”
“We have people like Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum. Is he not a popular party man?”.
“What about Boss Mustapha, the SGF who was Adamawa state chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) as far back as 1990?”
“With Mustapha as Tinubu’s running mate , the APC will win becahas he balances the ticket and his nomination will give Christians a sense of belonging and it will also make northern Christians comfortable in their own zone”.
“A man like Mustapha brings complementary experience, capacity, exposure and maturity to the ticket. He would help to stabilise the administration from day one” he said .
Tinubu is said to have penciled down former governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shetimma as his running mate though that has not been confirmed.