Politics

I Won In Kaduna On Muslim-Muslim Ticket, El-Rufai Tells Tinubu What To Do Over Running Mate

I Won In Kaduna On Muslim-Muslim Ticket, El-Rufai Tells Tinubu What To Do Over Running Mate

I Won In Kaduna On Muslim-Muslim Ticket, El-Rufai Tells Tinubu What To Do Over Running Mate

Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Friday said Bola Tinubu should be free to pick a Muslim vice-presidential candidate because he took a similar political decision in Kaduna that paid off.

“In my state, I picked a very competent, qualified woman as my running mate in the 2019 elections,” Mr El Rufai said on Channels Television Friday night. “Just because she happens to be a Muslim, people are calling it a Muslim-Muslim ticket and said we were going to lose. We didn’t. We won overwhelmingly.”

Mr El Rufai’s comment targeted those who have spread claims that Mr Tinubu, a Muslim, was planning to select a running mate of the same faith.

The former Lagos governor won the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress on June 8 and has been facing pressure to promptly select a vice-presidential candidate.

Muslim-Muslim Ticket

Since Mr Tinubu is from the south, his running mate would most likely be from the northern parts of the country. But what has not been settled is the question of whether or not the person would be a Muslim or a Christian.

Nigeria is evenly divided between the Muslim-dominated north and the Christian-dominated south, and religion has always been a key factor in the country’s political affairs.

Former vice president and main opposition presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar is widely expected to pick a Christian southern from the Christian-dominated, oil-rich Niger-Delta region. Mr Abubakar’s Peoples Democratic Party will be slugging it out with Mr Tinubu’s APC, although there are strong third-party contenders like Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

Mr El-Rufai said Mr Tinubu’s decision to pick a Muslim VP, which analysts have said may happen, would further drive a wedge between Nigerians and their fixation with religion.

“This fixation of Nigerians with religion instead of competence, capacity and capability is quite sad and pathetic,” Mr El-Rufai said. “And I urge you as media to please take religion out of governance and let’s look for competence, capacity, capability and delivery.”

“I don’t think we should be looking at religion; we want to develop this country.

“When I get into a plane, I don’t ask for the religion of the pilot, when I go to the hospital, I don’t ask for the religion of the doctor. I just want to get well. I want to get to my destination in an aircraft.

“Nigeria is at crossroads. We face very, very serious dangers in security, in economic meltdown, global issues are affecting us and all people are concerned with as far as who will be president or vice president is concerned is religion. It is so sad. It is not our religion that will solve our problem,” he added.