News Politics Trending News

APGA, SDP Chairmen Say Competence, Not Religion Should Matter To Nigerians

By: HighCelebritySquard




Ahead of the 2023 general elections, national chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Oye has advised Nigerians to settle for a team capable of changing the governance narratives of the country.

This is even as he stated that the religious disposition of the President and Vice President of Nigeria needs is not as important as their capacity to deliver good governance when elected.

Oye gave the advice against the backdrop of diverse commentaries elicited by the choice of Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Borno state as running mate to All Progressives Congress, APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Like Tinubu, Shettima is a practicing Muslim.

In an exclusive chat with Saturday Vanguard,   the APGA chair said the choice of Shettima may have been informed by permutations known to Tinubu and his party, noting however that those not comfortable with the decision should take advantage of the opportunities offered by other political parties to make their choice.

Insisting that faith difference is not a potent fault line, Oye said state of origin should be expunged from the nation’s political   recruitment process so that a man originally from the South can contest election in the North and vice versa based on his acceptability.

He said: “I don’t care about the religion of whoever wants to be President or Vice President. What matters to me and I am sure to most Nigerians is the capacity of the team to deliver.

“However, we are contending as a nation with a lot of challenges, one of which is national unity and cohesion. But if a Presidential candidate decided to pick a running mate of same faith, I think those not comfortable with that can look at other parties and see what they are offering. That is the truth of the matter.

“But I will tell you that religious differences will die a natural death if we are able to deal with the matter of state of origin. People should be able to vie for elective offices in places where they have lived long enough and made positive impact in the lives of the people.

“A man from Enugu should be able to contest election in Katsina and verse versa and win based on acceptability. This will unite us more than emphasis on Muslim/Christian ticket as many are advocating.”

In a separate session, Shehu Gabam, national chairman of the Social Democratic Party, SDP told Saturday Vanguard that the loss of a sense of morality and decency is the reason religion is becoming a determinant of becomes President and Vice President at one time or the other.

“According to him, “the major problems we have in this country are politicians and religious leaders. They manipulate us all the time and until we take a firm stand not to fall for their games, we won’t get it right.

“We only question the religious balance of a ticket because we have lost our sense of morality and decency. We have highly placed Muslims in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari who have not resigned because Muslims have been killed.

“It is same with highly revered Christian leaders in the corridor of power. Has any of them resigned because Christians were killed senselessly?

“Which cleric has gone round to see the plight of Muslims and Christians in the hands of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and what have you? That tells you the problem is not about religion.

“I was part of the G-7 that later became the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and I can tell you that when that party was being formed, nobody talked about religion. When it was formed in 1998, the North was interested in the unity of the country and did not present a candidate to vie for the Presidency.

“We have had Presidents in the past who were either Christians or Muslims but did that solve our problems?”

Gabam further called on Nigerians to use the 2023 election window to elect a leader who has the competence to put the nation on a solid footing, adding that the next election cycle must be used to change the sorry tale of a country so blessed, yet so poor.

“We can’t keep lamenting but 2023 is an opportunity to elect a young, vibrant leader brimming with ideas of how to make a nation grow and survive.

“Nigerians should take a look at the choices before them and decide whether to continue their tale of lamentation or sing new song of liberty. The choice is theirs,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gabam has advised those worried about Tinubu’s stolen certificates to concentrate their energies on more meaningful ventures saying, “Tinubu has a rich history. He was elected senator and governor in the past.

“In civilized societies, emphasis is on competence, not certificates. He was cleared by a screening panel and given a clean bill of health. I think that is enough. I am not a member of APC but I speak as an informed Nigerian.”





Please follow and like us: