2023: Tinubu/Nggillari, a Perfect Match for a more United and Prosperous Nigeria

During the First Republic, the then president-general of Nigeria Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe out of enthusiasm suggested to the Northern Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto) that let us forget our religious differences and forge ahead, the later suggested otherwise, “we should not forget our differences, but we should rather understand our differences to move on as one united country”.

Perhaps the Sardauna of Sokoto must have anticipated to have clearly understood that tolerance among religious faiths is a major factor in achieving national security in a multi-religious society as Nigeria. Sardauna’s sole objective might not be far from notching a society with a culture of religious tolerance wherein people respect the freedom of faith, communities other than their own to function, as that is a prerequisite for unity, progress and development.

As preparation to 2023 general elections is gradually taking the center stage, many critical stakeholders in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) are advocating for a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket for the party. Though there is nothing wrong, if the party and the presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu decided to go for a Muslim-Muslim ticket, but wisdom dictates that religious tendency has to be taken into account for a more united and prosperous Nigeria.

For the fact that good will message is emphasized in both the Holy Books (Bible and Qur’an) and that the general assumption is that the religions are source of strength for fostering good human relation, a southern Muslim presidential candidate should consider a northern Christian running mate and vise visa.

The APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu is a Muslim from South-west, which implies that his Christian running mate has to come from the North.

The North consist of North-west (NW), North-central (NC) and North-east (NE), but because the party’s national chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu hails from the NC, it is only logical to conclude that the race for presidential running mate slot is now between NW and NE.

In the interest of fairness, the NW should support the NE to produce the presidential running mate for two reasons, firstly, the fact that at the moment there is no ‘high ranking’ Christian politician of APC extraction in the NW. Secondly both incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and late Umaru Musa Yar’adua elected president in 2007, hail from the NW.

In search of a more influential running mate to Mr Tinubu, a serving, or at least a former Governor should be considered. This is based on the fact that Governors in APC or any other political party in Nigeria are instrumental whose influence in party politics can never be overemphasized.

At the moment, APC has no Christian serving Governor form NW not even from the NE. Bala James Nggillari, a former Governor of Adamawa State is arguably the lone Christian former Governor of APC extraction from the two sub-regions. Perhaps the odds are in the favour of Nggillari as perfect match for Mr Tinubu. Tinubu/Nggillari ticket is a force to reckon with, come 2023.

Saleh Babagana
(Lecturer in the Department of Physics, Yobe State University Damaturu)

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