Some northern elders have opened up on their stance on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s vice presidential ambition in 2015.
The elders said they supported Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai’s staunch opposition to the plan.
They opined that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would have worked against the APC, adding that Tinubu is a selfish politician.
Tinubu had said his moves to become President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in 2015 was prevented by Saraki and el-Rufai.
His comments were contained in a book titled, ‘Against the Run of Play’, written by veteran journalist, Olusegun Adeniyi.
Tinubu accused the Senate President, the Kaduna governor and other individuals of prevailing on Buhari not to pick him as the running mate for the 2015 election.
A chieftain of the Northern Elders Forum, Reverend Bitrus Dangiwa, said he was one of those who threw their weight behind those who opposed Tinubu to become Buhari’s running mate.
The cleric, who was the Youth President, Christian Association of Nigeria in the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, told journalists in Kaduna on Saturday, April 29 that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would have worked against the APC.
Dangiwa described Tinubu as being “selfish” to have thought that a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket would have worked for the party in 2015.
He praised Saraki for ensuring that the Muslim-Muslim ticket did not work, arguing that a good percentage of the country’s Christian population would have been neglected.
His words: “Tinubu’s thought of becoming (Nigeria’s) Vice President to a Muslim presidential candidate was not only self-centred or selfish, but it would have worked against the APC. We knew Tinubu’s move for a very long time – most northerners contributed to Saraki’s choice of working against a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2015 poll.
“So, Saraki’s decision not to have a Muslim-Muslim ticket was in the best interest of the socio-political development of the nation. There are still good Muslims and good Christians who mean well for this country, and Saraki is one of such good examples.”
On his part, the National Leader of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima, told The Punch that the 2015 presidential election would not have been won by the APC if the party had gone into the poll with a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“There’s no way that Muslim-Muslim ticket could have worked with the current way the country is set up and with Tinubu who wanted to run with Buhari. The APC would have lost the election.
“While the youths of this country want a situation whereby religion, ethnicity and language do not determine who govern the country, we are mindful of the fact that present realities wouldn’t have given victory to the APC if it had Muslims for its candidates (president and vice president).
“Everybody knows that Tinubu wasn’t an ideal person to be Buhari’s running mate.Making him Buhari’s running mate would have affected the party adversely. It is true that he has helped many people. He has been useful to many causes and people. But I am not sure anybody would have supported him as Buhari’s running mate.
“As he said during the week that Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor Nasir El-Rufai blocked his chance of becoming Buhari’s running mate – that wasn’t a bad move because APC wouldn’t have won the election with a Muslim-Muslim ticket involving a Tinubu,” Shettima said.
Similarly, a National Executive Council member of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Mohammed Abdulrahman, criticised Tinubu’s vice presidential aspiration, noting that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would have killed Buhari’s 2015 presidential bid.
His words: “There is no viability for any two people that are Muslims to steer the ship of peace and unity in Nigeria at the moment. Tinubu is a Christian most of the time. It is only when it is convenient for him that he is a Muslim. It is when it is convenient that he becomes Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“He is what we call ‘Christ-Mus.’ He is a ceremonial religious person. But they (APC) would never have made it (with him and Buhari for the 2015 presidential poll). That will not push Nigeria forward.”
Another northern elder, the National President of Arewa Youth Forum, Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, commended Saraki for promoting peaceful coexistence among Nigerians and for truncating the Muslim-Muslim ticket proposed by Tinubu during the 2015 presidential poll.
He argued that a Muslim-Muslim arrangement would not have given the APC the winning ticket in the last presidential election and would not have yielded any positive result in future elections.
“The Muslim-Muslim ticket will only cause crisis in the country. Nigeria is not ripe for a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the nation’s presidency because Nigerians now play politics of religion and ethnicity,” Gujungu stated.
A former spokesman for the ACF, Anthony Sani, said he did not support a Muslim-Muslim ticket because of the present “atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion which tends to promote cleavages of the nation along ethnic and religious lines.”
He added: “I would not have supported not only a Muslim-Muslim ticket but also a Christian-Christian ticket until such a time mutual trust and social contract among groups would have been restored in the polity.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com recently gathered that Tinubu is set to launch his memoirs on the 2015 election. He disclosed this on Friday, April 28 in Lagos through his media aide, Tunde Rahman.
Tinubu stated that he was working on a book that would detail how his party removed former President Goodluck Jonathan from office.