Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Primordial Consideration Becomes An Issue In Nigeria Because Of Bad Governance -Ajayi

National Publicity Secretary of the Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Comrade Jare Ajayi, has said that Christian-Christian or Muslim-Muslim ticket becomes an issue in Nigeria due to lack of equity, fairness and justice in the way the country is being governed.

There have been instances where people of the same faith were heads of governments even in multi religious settings and things went well just as the affinity in faith does not, in itself, guarantee good governance.

Instances that can be cited include when Chief Obafemi Awolowo was Premier in the Western Region and his Deputy was Chief Ladoke Akintola.

It’s on record that their record in terms of spreading the dividends of democracy across the region remains unbeatable till now. Both of them were Christians.

It can also be remembered that the first Board to take care of people going on pilgrimage to Mecca was established by the said Awolowo administration, a Christian! Yet only Muslims go on pilgrimage to Mecca!

It was after the success of the Western Region initiative that other Regions including the federal government and Northern Region established similar boards.

In the same vein, when late Chief Bola Ige was Governor in the old Oyo State, his Deputy was late Chief Sunday Afolabi. Both of them were Christians. Although they later fell apart, their parting of ways had nothing to do with religion. It is also on record that Bola Ige administration achieved a lot in the old Oyo State.

On the other hand, we have had, and still have, situations where people who share the same faith did not do well in government.

The issue of religion, like the issue of ethnicity, becomes topical in Nigeria today because those governing the country, especially of recent, have shown deleterious and undisguised bias against those who are not of their faith and of the same ethnic group like them.

Ordinarily, Presidential Ticket Pairing along religious line should not be an issue at all, particularly because the Constitution prescribes ‘secularism’ for the country. But those who don’t seem to mean well for the country denigrate that aspect of the Constitution – as they do for many other areas that would have moved our nation forward!Placing so much emphasis on religious pairing of the presidential ticket is ordinarily divisive and, on the long run, unproductive particularly if we want a united and peaceful country, as we once had.

In any event, religious pairing does not guarantee good governance.

Right now, we have a Muslim/Christian presidency. But our current experience as a nation is nightmarish to put it mildly. We’re more divided, more fractured now more than we had ever been. The country is under siege, the economy is literally in shambles while social life is endangered. We should be promoting concepts that aid good governance. However, in view of the polarisation in the country today, the ideal thing may be to have people of the two faiths combined – Muslim/Christian or Christian/Muslim – perhaps to soothe frayed nerves.

But, speaking seriously, what I think we should stress more is the Candidate that can provide good governance. The type that would ensure that equity, fairness and justice are the operational norms.

For us in Afenifere, the issue of Restructuring the country in such a way that peoples of Nigeria would be in a position to self determine their own affairs is very paramount. It is the irreducible minimum that we expect. Which is why we are advocating for a serious tinkering of the present Constitution.

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