Friday, 18 March 2022

RE: Tinubu/Dogara and the Prison and Poison of Religious Politics..By Tunde Amore


 

The piece by Farooq Kperogi was quite eye opening, but I believe there are alot of issues he didn't consider while arriving at some of his conclusions, let me highlight a few.


His major assertion that Yoruba Muslims are regarded as second class citizens and not considered good enough for Presidential or VP position has already been dispelled, MKO Abiola he made reference to was a Yoruba Muslim who was voted overwhelmingly by his Yoruba people, both Christians and Muslims.


Another major oversight is the assumption that Dogara as VP will represent only the Northern Christians, Dogara will be representing the entire Christian population in Nigeria and it will be suicidal for any Presidential aspirant to start his campaign for the presidency by sidelining 50% of the electorate.

This is not the Nigeria of 1992, politics and religion are now intertwined in our political discuss and permutations. 


Like VP Osibanjo is a member of the Redeem Christian church, Dogara is also a member of Living Faith Church aka Winners Chapel, the second largest pentecostal Church in Nigeria with branches spanning across every nook and cranny of the county, from North to South. 


Therefore the basis of polling for the suitability of Dogara  as VP, only for his northern appeal is grossly faulty, his candidacy will also appeal to the entire Christian South but mostly ethnic minorities in the middle belt region where Bola Tinubu is hugely disadvantaged.


Also, MKO Abiola was able to win easily in the core north not only because he picked a Muslim VP but because he worked very hard and  built friendship across the Northern region, he also contested against a relatively unknown Bashir Tofa.


Do you honestly think Abiola would have defeated an Aminu Kano or Maitama Sule in Kano state or even a Shehu Yar adua in katsina?


Again Dogara has proven himself to be a reliable politician across the entire North that's why even the core  Northern Muslims are comfortable with him as was demonstrated while he was speaker. 


Another group that will welcome Dogara's candidacy are the entire Northern minorities both Christians and Muslims who form the majority in the North Central and North East, also domiciled in some parts of the North West. 

These minority groups will be excited at the prospect of having one of their own as VP. They haven't had that opportunity before. They will troop out enmass to vote for the historic event. 


The voter apathy in the core North especially the North West is already palpable as the massive votes delivered to Buhari in 2015 and 2019 has not yielded any positive outcome for the region which has been ravaged by banditry and kidnapping. 

An average north westerner is no more concerned about keeping power in their region as it has yielded no benefits to his farming and trading activities, this is going to translate to lower voter turnout at the polls. 


The era of Northern  Okada riders and security guards travelling from the South to go vote in their northern states is also over as they now consider that a waste of their time and  resources. 


As a matter of fact Jonathan never won the core north but he clinched the presidency in 2011 by winning the South and Middle belt regions. He lost in 2015 bcos he lost the SW and Middle belt regions. 


Namadi Sambo is considered an Edo man by most Northerners, it didn't stop Jonathan from winning with him as VP in 2011 even though Namadi lost his polling unit.


There are definitely some fundamentalist up north who will never vote for a Yoruba Muslim and Northern Christian, nevertheless I can guarantee you that at the moment they are in the minority, these groups would rather vote for a Kwankwaso in his new found NNPP, further splitting the Northern votes.


Most core politicians from the North believe they will be better able to checkmate Tinubu from the National Assembly than VP, so they are more focused on being Senate President or Speaker.


Also, once Tinubu gets the ticket in APC it will be very foolish for any APC governor or politician, most of whom are heading to the Senate to think they can ask their followers to vote them in APC and also vote another party for presidency since both elections will be conducted on the same day and at the same time.


Bola Tinubu just like Abiola before him has extended hands of friendship across the Niger, he has made serious inroads into the Northern political establishment and campaigned vigorously over the past 8 years, he has built friendships and trust over the years.


I can say with all  certainty Bola Tinubu  will have a clean sweep of the South West votes if he gets the APC nomination just like Abiola before him despite being a Yoruba Muslim. The combination of Tinubu and Dogara will ultimately bring about a political revolution never before witnessed in the history of Nigeria. 



Tunde Amore writes from Abuja


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