I have great admiration for Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who is Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s running mate in the 2023 presidential election.
He is a gentleman to the core, and I would never seek to criticise him, despite the fact that we belong to different political parties and may not agree on everything.
However, I am compelled to respond to his expressed worries and remarks regarding a Muslim/Muslim ticket, which he made at a conference yesterday.
It is pertinent to remind him that, even though those of us that stand with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima, have gone to great lengths to explain to members of the Christian community that such a ticket will not in any way affect any of us, our faith or our fortunes given the benign disposition of the two, it is also of importance to point out that his principal, Waziri Atiku Abubakar, COMPELLED two of his wives who were originally Christians to convert to the Muslim faith upon marriage whilst our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban of Borgu, had the prescence of mind and tolerance to allow his wife to not only remain a Christian but to also follow her calling as a Pastor.
Asiwaju has also allowed his children to adhere to whichever faith they choose and most of them are Christian.
Can such a man have an evil agenda against Christians?
Can such a man seek to Islamise our country?
Can such a man do or say anything to engender religious bigotry or intolerance in our nation?
Who between the duo of Waziri and Jagaban has shown more sensitivity to the Christian community and faith given these facts and circumstances?
Is it the one that compelled his two Christian wives to convert to Islam upon marriage or the one that allowed his Christian wife to remain a Christian and to even continue preaching the gospel of Jesus Chris, our Lord and Saviour?
The truth is that the most dangerous threat to the peace and unity of our country is not a Muslim/Muslim ticket but the obstinate and irrational insistence of keeping the Presidency in the North and fielding yet another Fulani candidate from the core North after 8 years of Fulani rule under President Muhamadu Buhari.
Can this be regarded as being reasonable or fair?
Has my dear friend and brother Governor Okowa considered this?
Does it not in any way weigh on his conscience?
Does it not present a very real danger to the interests and welfare of the people of the South collectively?
Surely the South should have a shot at the Presidency today.
Surely it is the turn of the South.
And to say otherwise would be insensitive, unreasonable, insulting and unjust.
In addition to that it would present a very serious challenge to our national unity and stability. I am glad that it was the Northern Governors and leaders of the APC that made this point themselves and insisted on zoning our presidential ticket to the South.
That speaks volumes for their sense of justice and fairplay and once again I commend them for it.
Without them and the insistence of their Southern Governor counterparts in the party it could never have happened.
By way of contrast, the Northern leaders in the PDP and the majority of their Northern Governors, reneged on an earlier agreement with their Southern counterparts led by Governor Nyesome Wike, breached the rules of zoning in their own party constitution, rubbished the efforts of the majority of Southern Governors in their party and insisted on not only keeping the Presidency in the North but also the position of the party’s National Chairman as well.
This is not only unprecedented but it is also unjust.
It is pure wickedness.
It is a massive and unwarranted humiliation and slap in the face of every Southerner in their party and that is what Wike, Governor Makinde, Governor Ugwuanyi, Governor Ortom, Governor Ikpeazu and their supporters are struggling against.
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