2023: Cleric urges Muslims to vote for competent leaders

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Competence rather than religious persuasion or tribe of who becomes the President or Vice President should be considered, the National Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Ahmad has advised.

Describing the introduction of lexicons such as Christian-Christian or Muslim-Muslim into the Nigeria political landscape as hypocritical and a misplaced priority, he said the religion of a party’s flagbearer should ordinarily not matter.

He called on electorate to vote for the candidates who can successfully steer the Nigerian ship in the right direction in the forthcoming February 2023 elections.

The spiritual head of Nigeria’s oldest Muslim organisation was speaking at the ADS Triennial Conference (EKO 2022) Press Conference in Lagos.

Sheikh Ahmad said, “At this point in Nigeria, we should not be widening out fault lines by placing undue emphasis on the tribe or religious persuasion of individuals standing for elections. All these are not solving our problems.

“I can tell you for a fact and I can say it authoritatively that President Muhammadu Buhari’s religion has not added anything to me as a Muslim or my community, the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria.

“He hasn’t done anything for Muslims because he is a Muslim. There has never been any appointment in this administration that was based on religious consideration and I want anyone with facts to contradict me because I am a member of the highest religious body in the country and I know we have never nominated anyone for ministerial appointment, just as we have never been consulted.

“In fact, I can tell you, if we had the choice, some Muslim members of President Buhari’s cabinet will not be there because they are neither representing Islam nor the Muslim Community. So, I don’t understand the agitation for, or opposition to a Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket.

“We should not be talking about that. We should rather focus on the person that can get the job done, whether a Muslim or non-Muslim; whether he is Ijaw, Ibibio or Ibira, etc; it is of no consequence. This should be the mindset of those who want progress for this country. Those calling for religion or criticising on the basis of religion are hypocritical. They aren’t religious people, they aren’t godly. They are self-centered people.

“The permutations are essentially political. IT IS NOT a religious consideration at all! Politicians want to win elections, period!”

The eloquent Muslim scholar also commented on the ruling APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is being presented as a “Muslim ticket” and the candidate of the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria.

According to him, “I can also tell you for free that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is NOT THE CANDIDATE CHOSEN BY THE MUSLIMS, he is the candidate of the ruling APC chosen by members of his party who consist of both Christians and Muslims.

Besides, the man has done and is still doing more for Christians than for Muslims when he was the governor of Lagos State. I was not told, I knew because I was a witness to it. If you count the individuals who has benefitted from Asiwaju up to date, you will count more Christian individuals and organisations than Muslims.

The man who says his religion is his politics and his politics is his religion? And tell me, where do you place his wife, Yeye Oluremi Tinubu, who is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG? So, what’s really behind this agitation for Muslim-Muslim, Christian-Christian ticket?”

The National Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen therefore urged Nigerians not to see politicians as either Muslims or Christians, saying; “They are just politicians, pure and simple! It’s only when they want to win votes that they talk about religion (Islam and Christianity). And they start visiting or attending Mosque or Church services. It is all part of the game of vote catching”, he said.

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