Friday, 3rd February 2023
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Same faith ticket: Leave Osinbajo alone

I read a full-page article last week written by Femi Fani-Kayode in some newspapers with a little bemusement. I am wondering why he is still needling the Vice President.

Osinbajo

Sir: I read a full-page article last week written by Femi Fani-Kayode in some newspapers with a little bemusement. I am wondering why he is still needling the Vice President.

As a spokesperson for the Tinubu Campaign, Fani-Kayode will do well to build bridges for his candidate and help him win the election, which would obviously be the most competitive race since 1999.

In the article, Fani-Kayode is urging Prof Osinbajo to join the campaign train and start stumping for Tinubu. Osinbajo should make full-throated support for Tinubu, the man who according to FFK, nominated the law professor for the VP job.

I recall that soon after the APC convention in June, Osinbajo had openly congratulated Tinubu on his nomination and expressed his support for the candidate and the party. If it now seems that the VP has since turned lukewarm towards the Tinubu presidential project, it is a matter of principles and conscience. There is nothing personal about it.

In 2014 before he was even considered for the VP position, Prof Osinbajo was one of the several chieftains of the party that opposed the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket because both Tinubu and Buhari are Muslims.

When Tinubu emerged as the APC standard bearer, Osinbajo warned against the same faith ticket and gave his reasons in several interviews.

Vanguard newspaper of July 12, 2022, reported: “Osinbajo counselled APC chieftains and Tinubu to avoid an unbalanced ticket, arguing that such would simply be an untenable and unnecessary risk. The VP explained that the logic, fairness and justice of a balanced ticket are unassailable.

The argument that merit should be considered above a Muslim-Christian balance presents a false choice. It is not one or the other. You can get all the merit you want in a balanced ticket.”

It is therefore preposterous for FFK to expect the Vice President to turn around, blunt his conscience and back Tinubu now, three months after he forewarned of the danger of nominating a Muslim running mate.

Nigerians will recall that Fani-Kayode was an ardent critic of the Muslim-Muslim tickets when he was in the PDP.

In those days, FFK was always talking about Muslim domination and constantly referring to APC as the Janjaweed party, an allusion to the Sudanese Arab militia group that operates in Sudan, particularly in the Dafur region and eastern Chad. Has FFK recanted these words? Or has he simply moved on as if we had all forgotten? I haven’t. FFK should leave Prof Osinbajo alone.

Etim Etim is a member of APC, journalist and author.