George Onmonya Daniel
Femi Fani-Kayode has said it and reiterated that his party, the APC, should not field a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2015 presidential election or face the consequences of losing. Now you can say whatever you want, however you want it, but you cannot fault Femi Fani-Kayode on this one. The era of Abiola and kingibe is long time ago. Look at the ongoing National Dialogue and see that it has been dominated by Muslims complaining about being marginalised and Christians complaining about not being mentioned in the 1999 constitution. Come to think of it I think the only people being marginalised are traditional religious people and those who don’t believe in anything, but that’s another story. When I agree with Femi Fani-Kayode that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would be a catastrophe for the APC, I think Nasir El-Rufai is not being realistic when he mentioned that religion wouldn’t matter who the APC choose as its candidates in the 2015 election. Religion simply matters to majority of Nigerians nowadays and I don’t blame them. We have become too religious concious since the beginning of the fourth republic. People get jobs, contracts or favours because they are Muslims or Christians. Look at Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai’s state, for instance. When the former governor died in the hellicopter accident, some people were simply celebrating because the man is a Christian. When Yakowa became governor after Namadi Sambo was appointed the Vice President to help Goodluck Jonathan after the death of Umar Musa Yar’adua, some people were not happy that Sambo took the job that paved wa for a Christian governor in Kaduna State.
Of course you have all heard of Taraba State case. Immediately Dan Baba Suntai crashed in that plane crash and had to be flown out of the country, some Christians in Taraba State were worried over a Muslim assistant taking over. This happened and is happening right now. Religion really matters to most Nigerians and Nasir El-Rufai of all people should know that. Even in the West religion matters to them. Just imagine a Muslim or Hindu or Budhist presidential candidate anywhere in the West, even the United States. Even the sound of it sounds outrageous.
Religion matters in Nigeria. It does now more than ever. For the APC to choose a Muslim-Muslim presidential candidate is better it chooses a Christian-Christian presidential candidate because the party is already being accused of having an Islamic agenda. If it chooses a Christian-Christian candidate it will lose even in its stronghold of the North, but it will be remembered as a liberal party and it will use that for the future. But it will not do that. So Muslim-Muslim ticket or Christian-Christian ticket is out of it and Nasir El-Rufai of all people should knows that.
If the APC is planning a Muslim-Muslim presidential candidate for 2015 as Femi Fani-Kayode is saying, then they should be ready to kiss the election bye bye and give Goodluck Jonathan’s PDP the advantage to cash in on and win the election easily. I like the utopian idea of seeing a Nigeria where people don’t care about religion and tribe and little things that are of little value but a Nigeria where people understand that little things are trivial and are of no real value. That Nigeria is not 2015.