BOTTLENECK: Tinubu is already disqualified — Sani claims

Former Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr Anthony Sani, has said the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has automatically been disqualified on the basis that he is a Muslim, despite being a Southerner. 

Sani who made the statement while reacting to Tinubu's declaration to contest the 2023 presidential election, said whether it is believed or agreed or not, Nigeria is more divided religiously, than regionally, or ethnically, if past elections voting patterns in the country, is anything to go by.

He said the pattern is not expected to change especially at a time the Buhari government is accused of being anti-Christian and pursuing Islamic agenda. 

Having endured 8 years under a Muslim President, he said Nigerians, particularly Christians, are eager for a change. A change that would mean having a Christian as the President and not another Muslim despite being a Southerner. 

“I am not a fan of politics of identity symbolised by region, ethnicity and religion. That is divisive as it seeks to supplant itself on those of real issues of real concern to real ordinary Nigerians. As I said, such divisive lines and fissiparous tendencies include region, ethnicity and religion, besides gender and generation.

“And if we must include religion in the politics of identity, one expects a Christian president should emerge from the South that is predominantly populated by Christians.That way, two birds would be killed with one stone,” Sani said.

He said he has immense respect for Tinubu whom he said is the only other powerful political figure in the country with the ability to influence an entire region.

He however, argued that despite Tinubu's political muscles, he cannot change a voting pattern that is heavily influenced by religious sentiment.

“But as I have said, I respect Tinubu because he is politically savvy, and so has all it takes to be president save for the religious balancing factor,” he added.

Meanwhile, A former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Dipo Olorunrinu, has said Tinubu's interest in the presidency is not out of desperation, but the desire to redeem his image having received the blames for supporting leaders who ended up failing the masses. 

Olorunrinu who stated this in an interview with New Telegraph, said Tinubu had expected Buhari to deliver on the party's change mantra promised to Nigerians prior to the 2015 presidential election, but things didn't work out as expected.

He said, "He (Tinubu) is not desperate. If you look at Tinubu, his personality is that he wants that actual change and he wants to get the job done by himself, not by proxy. He has been sending people and asking them to do it.

"What is he looking for that he doesn’t have? What he is looking for is that there is lacuna in that change that he wants to get done himself. He has asked people to do it, they did it to a large extent, but it has not led to that actual change. If you look at him, you will see the consistency of the power that he has been able to sustain. 

"You wonder why he wants to do it himself, he has sent people to do it before, but he knows that this is not what he wanted them to actualize 100 per cent. He wants to get it done. I want to answer people, who are saying that he should go and sit down and that he is too old.

"The best legacy he needs in life is this. You can influence somebody into the office and he might do something else. Whereas you that put him there would be questioned and it’s like your fingers have been burnt. If he has helped people to get there, we should give him a chance to do those things he wants those people to do," he said.

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