Muslim-Muslim storm: Tinubu gains more faith-based supporters as lawyer sues flag bearer
An Abuja-based lawyer has dragged the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to court for fielding a same-religion ticket.
Tinubu, a Muslim, had, recently, unveiled his running mate, a former Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, also a Muslim.
In the suit (FHC/ABJ/CS/1188/2022) filed at the Federal High Abuja, the lawyer seeks an order of perpetual injunction restraining Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from publishing the name of the APC presidential candidate during the forthcoming election over alleged violation of the Nigerian Constitution.
The suit argues that the decision to pick the party’s presidential flag bearer and running mate from the same religion violates the principle and spirit of the Constitution.
The plaintiff, Osigwe Momoh, in his originating summons, argues that political parties must, by virtue of Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), have their presidential and vice presidential candidates from different sections (tribal and religious groups) of the nation.
He, therefore, seeks a declaration that “by virtue of Sections 14 (1) and (3), 15 and 224(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the defendants are bound to the principles of Chapter II of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and having the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the same religious (sectional group) is unconstitutional and null and void.”
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.
THIS came as a pro-Tinubu group, Concerned Yoruba Muslim Scholars in Nigeria, described those kicking against the Tinubu-Shettima ticket as hypocritical.
This was contained in a statement signed by Shayk AbdulRasheed Mayaleke (President General), Prof. Abideen Olaiya (Secretary General) and Mallam AbdulGaniy Sahid Olaide Ezra (Publicity Secretary).
The group said: “We are alarmed at the hypocritical public outcry by some section of Christian leaders and followers against the choice of Shettima.
“Unfortunately, people who are supposed to be moral guides for a united and prosperous nation have become agents of the opposition party just for a miserable price.
“We are greatly shocked at the height of prejudice being expressed by opposition parties masquerading under different names or groups. It is, therefore, compelling to remind and enlighten well-meaning Nigerians about the potential of these great candidates who are of unassailable competencies.”
ALSO, a socio-political group, Agenda for Greater Nigeria (AGN), urged citizens to shun religious considerations, saying the Tinubu-Shettima ticket holds a promising future for the country.
In a statement signed by its President and General Secretary, Izacc Koleosho and Gidado Kawu, the group described the choice of Shettima as best, saying it indicates a Tinubu presidency would take tough decisions to reposition the country on the path to prosperity.
It said: “That APC’s presidential flag bearer picked Shettima, against all odds and after wide consultations, shows that Nigerians should watch out for well thought-out strategies to turn around the fortunes of the country.
“It shows a Tinubu-led Federal Government is determined to move the nation forward and tackle economic and security challenges.”
IN a related development, the Leader of One Love Family, Sat Guru Maharaj ji, scolded critics of Shettima’s choice for ignorantly placing religion above human capacity.
He disclosed this at the Alarere residence of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, while fielding questions from Personal Assistant (Media) to the Olubadan, Oladele Ogunsola, after paying homage to the monarch, as part of the sect’s 42nd anniversary activities.
He said: “Religion has not helped this country in any form, and if anybody disagrees with me, such a person should point at what religion has done for us in terms of development.
“Or, are we saying Nigerians are not religious enough? What is important is what a particular person can do. For now, what we need is performance.”