The battle for who occupies the National chairmanship seat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is taking another dimension, as loyalists and supporters of the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, have started canvassing for a Muslim National Chairman.
This was made known to Sunday Telegraph by a member of the Tinubu Support Group (TSG), stating that such would assist their ambition.
According to the member:”It would be advantageous for us and the Presidential aspiration of our principal, the former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu. Tinubu, a Muslim is one of those aspiring for the Presidential ticket of APC for the 2023 general elections.
Other aspirants mentioned to be in the race are: the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi; Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; former Governor of Lagos State and Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN.
Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. Among all the APC Presidential aspirants from the South, only two are Muslim: Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola.
The two are former Lagos State governors in succession. Those aspiring for the APC National Chairmanship seat are: former Governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Tanko Al-Makura; former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff; former Governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda; former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima; Senator Sani Musa, Alhaji Saliu Mustapha, former Governor of Benue State and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume; former Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdullazizi Yari and Mr. Sunny Silvester Moniedafe.
Among all, only two of the aspirants are Christians: George Akume (Benue State) and Sunny Moniedafe (Adamawa State). While Akume is from North Central, Moniedafe is from North East.
The National Chairmanship is said to have been zoned to the North Central. The Muslims from North Central contesting the position are: Tanko Al-Makura, Sani Musa and Saliu Mustapha.
The member of the TSG said that, “since Nigerians have played up religion in politics, we strongly believe that a Christian national chairman of APC would be an added advantage to our aspiration. “As you can see, we seem to be the only Muslim on the race in the South and our position should be secured with a Christian national chairman.”
However, when asked about the present situation where the President and national chairman are Muslim and all from the North, the TSG member said that is an aberration caused by circumstances. “And as you also know, it happened when the President was already in position.” But the people in the camp of Senator Al-Makura have dismissed the claim of the TSG member, stating that they are only trying to work for a preferred candidate.
According to them, the position of their principal would not in any way affect the any aspirant in the South if the party so wished he should be the Presidential candidate. “If what TSG is saying is so, what it means is that all the Christian APC presidential aspirants from the South are out of the Presidential ticket race with a Christian national chairman.
“What they should also understand is that whoever that would come from the South as National Secretary of the party would be a Christian.
“We believe that the emphasis here should be competence among the national chairmanship aspirants, especially from the North Central. “Our principal, Tanko Al- Makura like any other candidate would submit himself to the party and delegates with his impeccable credentials.”
He said that the TSG should know that consideration of who flies the presidential ticket of APC would not be majorly on religion but competence and acceptability