The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has expressed his concerns, like millions of Christians in the country over the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.
Akeredolu, who spoke at a dinner of The Sword of the Spirit Ministries in Ibadan, said as a Christain, he was worried by the decision of his party to cede its presidential ticket to same faith candidates.
“I discussed with Bishop Francis Wale Oke that presidency must come to the South. Take it or leave it, it is the minimum we can get. It must come to the South. The North cannot produce President for eight years and still want to retain it for another eight years. It is not going to work.
“That is why under the Southern Governors’ Forum, where, luckily, God made me the chairman, kept hammering on that. It must come to the South. And when it also got to our party in APC, we fought that it must come to the South.
“Luckily, it did not only come to South, it came to the South West. Now, where do we stand? I understand our feelings because I’m one of you. I am a Christian. All of us here are worried. What will be our gain, and that, why is my party, the APC throwing up a Muslim/Muslim ticket?”
A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde quoted Akeredolu as saying that the struggle for the President of Nigeria to come from the Southern part of the country in 2023 should not be in vain.
The Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, said the North cannot retain power after spending eight years in office.
“It has been a real issue for all of us. Even members of the party, it has been an issue for us. We have debated it, fought it and we have done so many things about it. I have always said to people, my fight was for Southern President,” he said.
The governor pleaded with Christians to look beyond religion and focus on the competency of Tinubu and Shettima.
Akeredolu added, “Now it has come to the South West, will I now throw the baby away with the bathwater? Can I, in all honesty, do it? Should I, in all honesty, do it?
“We call it a matter of coincidence. It is a matter of conscience. All of us are here, why don’t we look at it from one angle? The buck stops on the table of the President. Do we have a capable hand who can manage the affairs if given the opportunity? Do you have a man who is bold enough to challenge incursion into our land? That is it.
“All of us here have lived together for years and we didn’t allow religion to bring fight among us. We have Muslims in our families and there is no fight. We have many leaders in Yoruba land who have both Muslims and Christians in their families and there is no fight.
“So, we want to appeal to our people that this is our time. I want to appeal to all our senior Pastors and General Overseers to help talk to their followers. We politicians can only do little. This is our time, please don’t be angry.”
APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, had selected former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, as his running mate. His decision to run alongside a Muslim like himself was met with stark criticisms from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) led by Oke.