As Nigerians debate the suitable running mate of the presidential candidate of the All People’s Congress (APC), Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has advised Tinubu to consult the ‘Noble Dozen’. The Noble Dozen is the name given by MURIC to the twelve sincere Northern governors who stood by the idea of the transfer of power to the South.
The suggestion was contained in a press statement issued by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Saturday, 11th June 2022.
The full statement reads:
“Nigerians are currently engaged in hot debate on the suitable running mate of the presidential candidate of the All People’s Congress (APC), Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu. We will like to advise that apart from ensuring that the position of vice president in 2023 goes to the North, Senator Tinubu should consult the ‘Noble Dozen’.
“Those we refer to as the Noble Dozen are those twelve (12) sincere Northern governors who disabused the minds of Nigerians concerning the myth of Northern hegemony and a nonexistent caliphate oligarchy by insisting that APC’s presidential candidate must come from the South. This was a great sacrifice and a noble idea.
“They demonstrated statesmanship, patriotism and nobility of thought by that action. Tinubu should leverage on the confidence they reposed in him and reciprocate by allowing them to pick a running mate for him. Of course they may suggest two names and allow him to pick one out of the two. This will definitely diminish the so called North-South dichotomy and further cement the unity of our great country, Nigeria.
“While we submit that credibility, integrity and competence must be the overriding parameters, we aver that the faith of the running mate should not be an issue. If it has never been an issue in places like Jos, Benue, Ekiti, Ondo, Edo, the South Eastern states and the South South where both the governors and their deputies have always been Christians in spite of the existence of substantial number of Muslims, why should it suddenly become an issue at the federal level?
“MURIC charges Senator Tinubu to remain focused on building a united, virile and progressive Nigeria. Though we have no special objection to the choice of a Christian running mate, it will be wise for him to allow the Noble Dozen to influence his choice. Once this happens, the same Noble Dozen will sell his idea to the whole North. That may also secure Northern votes for him. Democracy is a game of numbers, not primordial sentiments, not social media noise or the cantankerous cacophony of demagogic charlatans.
“Other Muslim candidates like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Kola Abiola do not seem to have the same challenge. Neither do Christian flagbearers. By the way, Christian flagbearers are free to pick fellow Christians in Christian-Christian tickets. What is necessary is for all candidates to look for running mates who meet their vision and mission in the project to keep Nigeria strong, united and secure.
We expect Nigerians to vote for pedigree, integrity and credibility.
“At this juncture, permit us, once again, to felicitate with new flagbearers of other political parties who emerged winners in the last two or three days, particularly the indefatigable young activist, Omoyele Sowore, a good friend of MURIC. We also congratulate him on his victory in the court case over intra-party squabbles. Sowore is a frontline activist. He is consistent. We have great hope in him leading this country whenever the opportunity arises.”