The consideration of a Muslim president and a Muslim vice president in the country in 2023 is dead on arrival, Mr Babachir Lawal has said.
Lawal, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), stated this on Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
He believes it is out of place for anyone to consider such a thought considering the peculiarity of the nation’s political atmosphere which is divided along regional and religious lines.
“You can have the best ticket but if you don’t win the election, it’s a waste of time,” Lawal declared. “So, we must bear in mind that the vice (presidential candidate) is going to contribute to winning that election.”
“Extending that consideration to the Muslim-Muslim ticket, I live among the Christians, and I know that among the Christians, the question of Muslim-Muslim ticket is a no-go area; it is dead on arrival.
“Buhari himself, even at that time, had to drop this present presidential candidate because of that tension of a Muslim-Muslim ticket, and we have not seen anything in the country that has changed significantly to allow that to happen. On the contrary, it has worsened,” he added.
Following the emergence of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, a Muslim, as the party’s presidential candidate, there have been debates over who would be his running mate.
As the search for the ruling party’s vice-presidential candidate intensifies, the APC has been warned against nominating a Muslim for that position.
According to Lawal who is an ally of Tinubu, a political party is in the business of winning elections, and to win elections, one must get the votes to beat the opponents.
He stressed the need for the party to make the necessary considerations before choosing its vice president ahead of the coming polls.
“The religious divide has increased, the tribal division has increased, the regional division has increased,” said the former SGF. “So, it will be a good thing if APC will settle for a Muslim-Christian ticket because we know the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that is what they will do.”
Asked if he would like to be Tinubu’s running mate, he said, “God has not told me to aspire for that position. If you reach the level of Christianity that I am, you should be able to seek God’s opinion on everything that you do and get the indication.
“I will consider it. I have been in government before, and I have not seen any personal merit or advantage to me being in government. Since I left government, I have had a very good life and basically, a businessperson, and I have lived well. I am happy, my children are happy.”