Public affairs analyst and publisher of Ireland-based journal, The Street Journal Magazine, Mogaji Bowale Oluwole Arisekola has reiterated his support for the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2023 general election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Arisekola added that there was nothing wrong with fielding a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket in the forthcoming 2023 general election whilst also commending the leadership of APC and Tinubu for the choice of former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima as Vice-Presidential candidate on Sunday, July 10, 2022.
The Ibadan-born businessman also urged Nigerians to keep praying for Asiwaju Tinubu, maintaining that the Muslim-Muslim ticket victory of the late acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Bashorun Moshood Abiola and Alhaji Babagana Kingibe will clearly playout in 2023 and that religion is no longer an encumbrance in the Nigeria’s political equation contrary to social media speculations.
He made these assertions Monday morning with some selected senior political correspondents from his Ibadan country home where he is currently observing the 2022 Eid-El-Kabir holidays.
In the early morning interview Arisekola said:
“I must strongly and sincerely commend APC leadership and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for the choice of former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Ibrahim Shettima as Vice-Presidential candidate on Sunday, it was a very well thought out decision with the strength to usher in victory for the party in 2023. And I must add that the choice is a North-South balance and detractors should stop looking at it from the prism of Muslim-Muslim ticket to overheat the polity.
“Once again, history is about to repeat itself in 2023. It would be recalled that Nigerians voted for Chief MKO Abiola, a Yoruba Muslim from the South West in 1993, 29 years ago and that never generated any debate. Sadly, Abiola was denied his victory at the Poll. He was later arrested by the military junta and replaced by Chief Shonekan, a Yoruba Christian from the South West. However, the Yoruba Muslims in the South-West did not go to war or call for Jihad from all the Muslims in Nigeria.
“Shortly after Chief Abiola’s demise, the military organised an election to compensate Yorubas for the injustice meted out against Chief Abiola who died in military detention and asked the South West to produce the Next President of Nigeria. The two prominent candidates from the South West were Chief Olu Falae and Retired Gen. Obasanjo both Yoruba Christians from the South West. Chief Obasanjo won, and Yoruba Muslims did not go against it even though the Yoruba man who was denied victory was a Muslim. Similarly, the Christian Association did not say anything, they did not call for equal rights for the Muslims in the South-West. Therefore I urge purveyors of negative and selfish narratives to desist from it. Asiwaju will not only record landslide victory in 2023, he will be alive to enjoy his mandate and Nigerians will be better for it” Arisekola stated.
Reacting further, Arisekola expressed displeasure over the reactions of some misguided and biased commentators who are mostly of the Igbo extraction stressing that they should wait for their time and try not to be on the wrong side of history.
“I am utterly disappointed at some of the comments I read on the pages of the newspapers and also on the social media from Nigerians especially the Igbos. I am disgusted at the disdain and contempt with which they carry out their reactions and their repugnant insensitivity to the political realities of this time and season. Most of them are in Lagos today doing well in their businesses and they have forgotten that, it is this same Tinubu that created that enabling environment for their business to thrive. Igbos that are calling for Muslim-Christians ticket are the same people who have been calling Fulanis different names since 2015. The same Fulani is now their choice of Vice President, as seen in Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed of the Labour Party. You cannot be speaking from both sides of your mouth, you must be principled and serious minded at least for once. Without being immodest some Igbos are wise and objective in their conducts and I must say I salute their courage and objective ways and manners in which they analyze issues without religious or ethnic colouration.”
“ Let us grant the fact that competence, rather than religion, should be the yardstick for choosing a running mate. Again Asiwaju’s official statement on Sunday settled everything, if you haven’t read it please go and do so. Asiwaju is a true unifier, an epitome of vision and a goldfish in a gold bowl. He is who the country needs at a time like this. Moreover, the former Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kasim Shettima emerging as the Vice-Presidential candidate is a product of wise counsel in the general interest of Nigerians not APC, Yorubas or those of the northern extraction. This is an excellent joint ticket because Shettima is also known to be very transparent, detrabilized and a man of integrity, action and of cerebral disposition. His reign in Borno State as Governor was a blessing to the people. Look at the reaction from the CAN Chairman in Borno State, he spoke glowingly about Alhaji Shettima especially on the issue of religious tolerance; that is the Nigerian spirit of unity, cohesion and love for one another, unlike the jaundiced sentiments and naivity by some few renegades from the Eastern extraction.” he said