The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has tackled Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on his alleged presidential ambition. The Vice President was quoted as denying that he intended to declare his presidential ambition.
However, MURIC has told the VP that it was the turn of Muslims in the South West because three Yoruba Christians have occupied the presidency whereas no single Yoruba Muslim has been either military head of state, president or vice president.
This factor, according to MURIC, has given Yoruba Christians both political and economic edges and subjected Yoruba Muslims to political marginalisation, social segregation and gross economic disadvantage leading to abject penury among Muslims in the sub-region.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads:
“The Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has denied planning to declare his presidential ambition. The Vice President spoke through his spokesman, Laolu Akande today, Monday, 7th February, 2022 (https://dailypost.ng/2022/02/07/2023-osinbajo-denies-planning-to-declare-for-presidency-after-apc-convention/).
“Nonetheless (the denial notwithstanding), we will like the Vice President to know that it is not his turn yet. Neither is it the turn of any other Christian from the South West. This is because three Yoruba Christians (Obasanjo, Shonekan and Osinbajo himself) have occupied the presidency whereas no single Yoruba Muslim has been either military head of state, president or vice president of Nigeria.
“This factor has given Yoruba Christians both political and economic edges and subjected Yoruba Muslims to political marginalisation, social segregation and gross economic disadvantage leading to abject penury among Muslims in the sub-region.
“Muslims in the South West will no longer remain onlookers in matters affecting our welfare and our collective destiny. Any Yoruba Christian or Muslim candidate seeking office will have to consult the Muslim community. Nobody will be allowed to take Muslims for a ride and get elected on a platter of gold.
“All other things being equal, we would not have worried at all and we would not have brought the religious factor to the fore in Nigeria’s march towards 2023. But the brazen effrontery and undisguised persecution of Yoruba Muslims coupled with the criminal silence from those that matter among Christian leaders, civil society and Yoruba socio-cultural groups have made our stand necessary. Our stand is informed by an urgent need to liberate Yoruba Muslims from the shackles of religious persecution.
“The last time we checked, the Vice President has not deemed it necessary to check the excesses of his fellow Yoruba Christians who are oppressing Yoruba Muslim women in government offices and persecuting female Muslim students in South West schools. Neither has he uttered a single word of condemnation or sympathy on the matter. What then will be the fate of Yoruba Muslims when Osinbajo becomes the president of Nigeria. Christians in the South West will garner more courage. They will out-herod Herod and for Muslims, it will be from the frying pan into the fire.
“Even Profesor Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo cannot claim that he is unaware of the sufferings of Muslim women and female Muslim students in the South West whose conditions can be compared to that of blacks in apartheid South Africa. Perhaps his silence can be due to his position as a pastor of the Redeemed Church whose declared objective is to plant churches within few meters of each other throughout Nigeria. The starting point may be the forced conversion of Muslim students in Yorubaland. This of course will not be a new development in the sub-region. It happened to our parents and grandparents.
“We urge the Vice President to come out openly and put an end to the state of confusion. For the avoidance of doubts, we have nothing personal against Vice President Osinbajo. In actual fact, we are among his secret admirers and this can be traced to his loyalty to the President Muhammadu Buhari particularly because of the way he stood by the latter in his trying times.
“But MURIC is on a mission to liberate Nigerian Muslims from exclusion, isolation and discrimination in all their ramifications. We cannot compromise this principled stand and supporting any Christian from the South West for the 2023 presidency no matter his position or relationship with us will jeopardise this noble objective.
“Another microscopic clarification which is necessary to preempt professional confusionists and merchants of fake news who may want to mischievously misinterpret this message is that MURIC has not said and will never say we do not want a Christian to be president of Nigeria.
“This is a democracy, not a theocracy and our society is multi-religious. Both religions should therefore be allowed to lead. However, we are being specific about the South West this time around. This means that any political party can pick a Christian as its presidential candidate from any other zone for 2023 so long as it is not from the South West.
“It would have been a horse of another colour if no Yoruba Muslim has shown any interest in the presidency come 2023. But fortunately the crème de la crème among Yoruba Muslim politicians have indicated interest. Vice President Osinbajo is therefore advised to allow sleeping dogs to lie.”