Muslim Rights Concern has vowed that a Yoruba Muslim candidate must succeed President Muhammadu Buhari after the expiration of his tenure in 2023.
In a statement titled, ‘2023: On Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate we stand’ and signed by the director and founder of the organisation, Prof. Ishaq Akintola on Monday, the Islamic organisation, argued that no Yoruba Muslim person has ever occupied Aso Rock as president or Vice President since the 1960 independence.
He, however, suggested names of qualified Muslim candidates who could succeed the president to include 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.
He added, “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). Ernest 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.”