Although Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential flag bearer of the ruling APC, who is yet to announce his running mate, is quoted as saying the VP slot belongs to the North-eastern region, and particularly the Christians, going by the gossip in circulation, the argument for a Muslim/Muslim ticket is not only deepening but getting denser.
And in this endeavor, methinks, we should not rule any option in, but also, we should not rule any option out.
Last night I watched on Channels TV, the contributions of Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed and Barrister Daniel Bwala, about the place of faith in the debate for who occupies the office of Vice President in Nigeria, and in the end, I bought the argument of Baba Ahmed, that in Nigeria, the issue of religion only comes to play during elections.
Specifically, Dr. Hakeem made mentioned the Obasanjo administration, the period in which he served as a Permanent Secretary, and said, he hasn’t seen any project or program, executed with a special bias to the benefit of the Muslim faithful because Atiku Abubakar was the Vice President. And vice versa.
Baba Ahmed is convinced and succeeded in convincing me that, the elites only use faith as a tool for exploiting the gullible. And election times, are the times to make the most capital out of the credulous.
It is out of this conviction, that I want to advise Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has boasted yesterday in Ekiti, with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about his political achievements, that he has never failed any election, to think tactfully and expediently.
While addressing APC members at a rally in Ekiti, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in the state, Tinubu said and I quote, “I’ve never failed an election before. If you don’t vote, you can’t hold money, because the PDP is Poverty Development Party”.
In one of his columns, titled, Tinubu’s Muslim/Muslim ticket obsession, Ochereome Nnanna said, “Tinubu as a seasoned political leader does not operate with logic or political niceties when looking for power. He goes for the expedient. Whatever produces results he will deploy it. Know this about Tinubu’s politics and know peace. Tinubu is not a Muslim fanatic. He is a typical Yoruba Muslim to whom Islam is a religion, unlike the Northern Muslim to whom Islam is life. He knows the only way he can hope to win the 2023 presidential election is to go for a popular far-North Muslim as his VP. He must have someone who will pull the Northern Muslim grassroots to him. How many Northern Christians have electoral value? How many Northern Christians can get Northern Muslims to vote for a Southern presidential candidate because of him as the VP of that ticket?.”
Tinubu is at liberty to pick whoever he feels comfortable with, but because he made a mouth of never failed an election before, and because as observed by Dr. Hakeem that faith is exploited only during elections in Nigeria, alongside Ochereome’s question of, How many Northern Christians can get Northern Muslims to vote for a Southern presidential candidate because of him as the VP of that ticket? I make haste to advise him to go for the dictate of his conscience, and not with logic or political niceties.
And in doing that, because the ticket is zoned to the northeast, he should zoom his search on Professor Babagana Zulum, the energetic and result-oriented governor of Borno state.
There are a lot of arguments against Zulum, with the saying that he is relatively inexperienced for the high office of Vice President. But to me, those arguments are nothing but bunkum, especially if Zulum is viewed from the overview of Damilare Salami, which goes thus:
“Borno State is one of the most difficult states to govern in Nigeria. And we would tell you why. This is because of the obvious and enormous security challenges the state has been faced with. Due to incessant Boko Haram insurgencies, the state has been turned into a shadow of itself before May 29, 2019, when the new governor was sworn-in under the platform of APC.
With a breath of fresh hope but little aspiration, Borno indigenes and residents celebrated, when Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, was sworn in as Borno Governor, on May 29, 2019. Their joy knew no bounds, as they have so much faith in him because he is a Technocrat who has been tried, tested, and trusted in the proper management of men and materials in his previous public positions.
It was widely anticipated that his wealth of experience and laudable achievements as the then Rector of Ramat Polytechnic and pioneer Commissioner, Ministry for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR), would be brought to bear in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
While the good people of Borno State expected little or nothing in the areas of Infrastructural and Human capital development in Zulum’s one year in office, taking the state’s peculiar problem of Boko Haram insurgency into account, Zulum has surprised everyone with his unprecedented achievements, ranging from the beefing up of Security to infrastructural and social/ Human capital development within just one year in office.
Considering the peculiar problem of insurgency in the state, Borno people were left speechless and in utter admiration of the governor’s giant strides in all aspects of governance, whilst, meticulously revolving within the confines of his visionary, people-focused, articulated development agenda which he called: 10-Pact Transformation Agenda”.
And to me, the biggest beauty is that Zulum executed the above with the energy and enthusiasm of a man with zing and zest.