An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has described All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Bola Tinubu, declaration to succed President Muhammadu Buhari after expiration of his tenure next year as welcome development, with appeal that Nigerians, particularly the Yoruba Muslim to support the politician.
The group noted that Tinubu as a presidential candidate fits into its long-term aspiration for a Yoruba Muslim president, adding that with his declaration, it would be canvassing supports for the former Lagos State governor across the South West states.
The MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said that the APC national leader’s declaration was inline with its repeated demanded the emergence of a Yoruba Muslim candidate for the post of president of this country because of prolonged religious persecution being faced by Muslims in the South West.
Through a statement on Friday, Akintola noted since the former governor announcement on Monday, the group had started consulting its state branches in the Yoruba states including Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti and that the outcome of its investigation reveals a resounding support for Tinubu’s declaration.
According to him, all our state branches confirmed that Senator Tinubu has been close enough to Yoruba Muslims. The Lagos chapter of MURIC also vouched that although Tinubu is not the type that will marginalise Nigerian Christians, at the same time, he will not estrange Yoruba Muslims or ignore their complaints when he becomes president of Nigeria.
He added, “this is the time Yoruba Muslims need the support of their Muslim brethren all over the country to ensure that Tinubu emerges as the candidate of his party at the primaries. They should also vote for him massively during the presidential elections to ensure that he emerges as the president of Nigeria to be sworn in on 29th May, 2023.
“This is the only fair thing that can happen to Yoruba Muslims. Interestingly enough, nobody can claim that the advent of Tinubu as the president of Nigeria is unfair to Yoruba Christians because at least three Yoruba Christians have been both presidents and vice presidents of Nigeria.
“We do not wish to be misunderstood. We will therefore reiterate our position on Christian candidates in the coming presidential election. MURIC has no objection to Christian candidates emerging from any other geo-political zone. It means we are not saying that a Christian cannot be president of Nigeria. We are simply saying that such a Christian should not be a Yoruba man or woman.
“Yoruba Muslims have been marginalized for so long. Politically, Christians have monopolised ministerial positions, state commissionership, boards and agencies. Economically, civil service jobs are selectively offered. The education sector has been the Archiles heel of Yoruba Muslims and a concentration camp where Muslim children are forced to adopt Christian culture. A Christian president from the South West will therefore turn the headache of Yoruba Muslims into migraine.
“MURIC will not be partisan. We will give all political parties a level playing ground. Therefore, we will also support any other political party that picks a Muslim candidate from the South West. No political party should claim that it cannot find qualified Muslim politicians when the likes of Babatunde Fashola, Dr. Muiz Banire, Dr. Abdul Lateef Abdul Hakeem, Senator Fatai Buhari, Rauf Aregbesola, etc, are making waves on the Nigerian political architecture.
“Our target is the liberation of Yoruba Muslims from the shackles of political marginalisation, socio-economic repression and educational enslavement. While MURIC will never exhibit enmity, derision or contempt towards Christians and people of other faiths, it has zero tolerance for Muslim haters. Aluta continua : no retreat, no surrender until victoria acerta.”