By Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo
With the hue and cry of some Nigerians over the Muslim – Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s decision to pick Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate, I cannot but ask why are they being unnecessarily emotional, sentimental, hypocritical and dramatic?
As long as we keep lying to ourselves that the structure of the country is okay and as long we tenaciously hold on to the fraudulent and evil document called the Nigerian 1999 constitution, we shall continue to live in fear, distrust, disunity, and chasing shadows all over the place.
By the Nigerian constitution, religion is not a criterion for a candidate for an election to the office of the president and it is also not a criterion for the nomination of his running mate for the office of the vice-president. The last time I checked there is nothing like Muslim – Christian ticket, Christain -Muslim ticket, Muslim – Muslim ticket in our constitution consequently what Nigerians should be concerned about is Bola Tinubu’s and his running mate Kashim Shettima’s competence and capacity to deliver good governance if they succeed to become the number one and number two citizens of this great country and not their religion.
Nigerians complaining of Muslim-Muslim must stop raising hell and stop being pretentious cowards. Are these sets of Nigerians against a Muslim-Muslim ticket not aware of the imbalance and defective structure of Nigeria? Are they not aware that in the past seven years over ninety percent of top positions in public offices, government agencies, parastatals, juicy appointments, slots, and contracts in Nigeria are being occupied, enjoyed, and/or assigned to Muslims to the disadvantage of Nigerians of other religion? Is it not under the very nose of these Nigerians that whenever there is a vacancy in a public office that Christians or Nigerians of other religions are entitled to fill up the vacancy, they are discriminated against by being retired alongside their coursemates who are not Muslims just to make way for a Muslim to take over. Of note are the cases of the Nigerian Amy and the police. Are these Nigerians not aware that in many instances when a Muslim has reached retirement age, his tenure is unlawfully extended? Are they not aware that the Oil wells in Nigeria are being owned by Muslims even though the Oil deposits belong to the Christians and Traditionalists?
President Muhammed Buhari won elections on a Muslim-Christian ticket with Professor Yemi Osinbajo a Christian and a pastor as his vice president. In their ongoing government the Senate President, the Chief Justice of Nigeria. the head of the Army, Navy, police, immigration Services, Custom, and exercise, correctional center, the.Secretary to the Federal Government., the Minister of Defence, the Accountant General, the Auditor General, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Attorney General, the head of the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Federal Character Commission, the Federal Judicial Service Commission, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the National Judicial Council, the Federal Judicial Service Commission, the National Defence Council, the National Population Commission, the National Security Council, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigerian Police Council, the Nigerian Ports Authority. the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, National Identity Management Commission, the National Youth Service Corps, the Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigerian Postal Service, the State Security Service of Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission just to mention a few are all Muslims. This pattern has eaten deep into the civil service, the armed forces government agencies, and parastatals so that Moslems will continue to the next one hundred years lead while Christians and Nigerians of other religions play second fiddle. Are these Nigerians not aware that Christians and traditionalists agitators are been hounded down and killed by the Nigerian State while the Muslim bandits, Fulani herders, and terrorists who have killed, raped, maimed, brutalized, dehumanized, kidnapped other Nigerians are forgiven, integrated into the society and paid monthly for a job well done without any recompense to their victims? Are these Nigerians not aware that the four walls of Nigerian correctional centers cannot hold a Moslem terrorist but can hold a Christain and traditionalist agitator? Are these Nigerians not aware that a Muslim has the license to take the life of a Christian or Traditionalist without any consequences?
With the above, what is the big deal of having a Christian vice president? By the way, what is the worth of the position of the vice president in Nigeria? Nothing! He is nothing but an errand boy. Look at what is happening to one of Africa’s brightest and soundest brains and minds, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, he is being sidelined, mistreated, and disrespected. Even in the National Economic Council of which he is the Chairman, he only plays an advisory role to the President who is absolutely in control of the economy.
Unfortunately, those Nigerians against a Muslim Muslim ticket are only seeing the tip of the iceberg and are approaching the structural problem of Nigeria on the surface and cosmetically without looking at it from the root.
This set of Nigerians against Muslim – Muslim tickets must stop playing to the gallery. They must stop throwing tantrums like kids, man up, and call for a referendum which is the only way out of the quagmire we find ourselves as a people. Let these set of Nigerians channel their energy and resources from election to referendum. With the right structure in place, it would no longer matter where our President and Vice President come from or which religion they belong to, all that will matter thenceforth will be their capacity and competence.