Yoruba Muslim Youths Organisation (YMYO) on Monday urged a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal; a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to stop stressing the nation’s fault lines, but promote good governance ahead of 2023 general elections.
Dogara and Lawal, chieftains of the All Progressives Congress and some leaders of the CAN had in recent times, argued against the emergence of party’s flagbearers for the next election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Senator Shettima, saying it was against religious balancing.
But the Muslim youths, in a press statement made available to newsmenthrough its Coordinator, Alhaji Muritala Abdulsalam disagreed on the position of the opponents of the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The group argued in favour of Tinubu and Shettima, saying their combination would be a blessing to Nigeria which is yearning for good governance and greater unity of its component parts.
He queried why a religious body like CAN has been so vociferous on the matter, asking whether CAN is now an appendage of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” he asked rhetorically.
“‘Does the Constitution recognises that an adherent of a particular sect be the President and running mate?
“Instead of yearning for good governance and accountability, CAN is busy itself with APC Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“CAN as a body of eminent Christian Leaders should not abdicate its primary responsibility of promoting Christ by spreading the gospel and serves as a watch-dog of the spiritual and moral welfare of the nation.
“What has the so-called Christian leaders in many of the States and those that had held sway as Governors and even in the presidency done to the body of Christ over the years? Where have they been different from other rulers who had so far administered this nation?
“For us in the YMYO, we wish to counsel CAN to be watchful of their utterances and not push the Muslim Youths to a situation where we would begin to demand equity, justice and fair play in all the States where Christians were both Governors and Deputy Governors.
“In the Southwest alone, Muslims are not raising eyebrow out of the current realities where all the Governors except Osun State helmsman are Chrsitians.
Akeredolu, Ondo State Governor is a Christian and his Deputy is also a Christian. Governor Fayemi of Ekiti State and deputy are Christians too, yet Muslims have never complained of such perceived irregularities. CAN is stressing our fault lines and they need to exercise restraints.
“Muslim bodies and our leaders have never written any statement or spoken publicly to condemn Christian-Christian leaders at many States of the federation. What we would rather appeal to CAN to do, is to preach peace, speak truth to power and pray for entrenchment of God-fearing leaders in 2023 and beyond.
“Babachir Lawal should also shut up and fear God. Did anybody considers his religious persuasion before he was made the SGF where he performed below expectations and even made mess of it, to the extent that he has a date with the EFCC?
“For the likes of Dogara and Babachir, let them know that in the Southwest Nigeria, religion has never been an issue amongst our people. We promote merit and always yearn for good governance.
“Let’s vote on merit and cometence of the people. Enough is enough. Religious leaders are just distracting the people from the reality of insecurity and poverty in the land.
“They should better address who amongst the candidates can tackle the problems on ground.
“Kidnappings, banditry, Boko Haram are issues that we must urgently address as a matter of national emergency.
“CAN is yet to talk about irregularities in the opposition parry. The PDP alone is tilting towards a Northern political party where all the major political leaders from the BoT Chairman, Party’s National Chairman and even the presidential candidate are all from the North at the expense of Southern Region?,” the group added.