An Islamic organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, has reaffirmed its preference for a presidential candidate from the Yoruba Muslims.
In a statement on Monday, MURIC argued that no Yoruba Muslim has ever occupied Aso Rock either as a president or vice president since independence in 1960 whereas three Yoruba Christians have enjoyed that luxury.
The group subsequently listed eight names of some Yoruba Muslims “competent” to lead the country.
The statement titled, ‘2023: On Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate we stand’, was signed by the director and founder of the organisation, Prof. Ishaq Akintola.
Among those mentioned by MURIC are the National Leader of All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu; ex-APC National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire; JAMB registrar, Ishaq Oloyede; and Lagos Deputy governor, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat.
Others are Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, ex-Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, Senator Fatai Buhari from Oyo North, and ex-Lagos Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem.
MURIC said, “As public discourse in Nigeria zeroes in on the 2023 presidential election, we see the need for us to reiterate our position on the need for a Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate from the South West. This we find necessary in view of the proclivity of Nigerians for mass amnesia.
No Yoruba Muslim has emerged as president since independence. Mathew Olusegun Obasanjo has been president twice: once as a military head of state (1976–79) and as a civilian president (1999 -2007). Earnest Shonekan was an interim head of state (August 1993 – November 1993). Today we still have a Yoruba Vice President who is also a Christian (Professor Yemi Osinbajo).
“Again, it is important to state that this is not a categorical statement for the rejection of a Christian presidential candidate in Nigeria. This statement is on the South West alone. We have no objection to a Christian from any other part of Nigeria emerging as the presidential candidate. What we are saying is that a Muslim should be picked if the 2023 presidential candidature is zoned to the South West by any political party.
“For the avoidance of doubt, MURIC has no favourite political party in this affair. Any political party that picks a Yoruba Christian as its presidential candidate come 2023 should simply kiss Yoruba Muslim votes goodbye. No political party should tell us that they cannot find competent Yoruba Muslims.
“Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu is a Muslim, a manufacturer of leaders and a mentor of performers. Dr. Muiz Banire is a Muslim. Lagos deputy governor, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat, is a Muslim. Fashola, Aregbesola, Oloyede, Senator Fatai Buhari, Dr. Abdul Lateef Abdul Hakeem, etc are Muslims of Yoruba stock who have distinguished themselves in public office. Stop marginalizing Yoruba Muslims. We have the stuff. On Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate we stand.”