After weeks of speculating whether the All Progressives Congress would choose a Muslim for its running mate or consider the precarious balance of Nigerian politics, they chose the former. Last weekend, the APC opted for former Borno state governor Kashim Shettima. For a while, those hurt by the decision will spend some time mulling over the implications of pairing two Muslim candidates despite the mood of the moment. Since the APC has the incumbency factor on its side, there will be plenty of analysis to choose from and perhaps some conspiracy theories will also be thrown around in the coming months. However, none of this should change anything. What’s done is already done.
The arguments were worthwhile before the official announcement of the decision. Now that the decision is made, it is no longer worth fighting for. The faster we move, the better we can tackle the substantive issues of our failing policy. At best, we will only sow disaffection between us. On the bright side, hopefully some people will learn a few lessons about the nature of high-stakes politics so they can prepare for future elections. In case it’s still not obvious, let me state it more clearly: politics is a calculating art of taking advantage of the weaknesses of others. Politics is a game no one plays for their opponent to win. It’s inherently selfish, and prudent politicians make no apologies for looking out for their own interests. We too must do the same for ourselves. Enough to serve the interests of politicians while neglecting yours.
If someone had told those who thought the redeemed Christian Church of God had gone too far when the Church announced the creation of a department to mobilize the support of its parishioners in politics that we would end up with a candidate Muslim-Muslim, they would have thought it’s impossible. Especially not after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was harassed to defend himself from appointing his church members – less than a dozen of them, mind you – to offices. I know a few people, Christians, who are still flabbergasted by the brazen Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC. They feel overwhelmed, but they have only themselves to blame for expecting too much from a collective that has never considered anyone outside of their circles.
From peddling Osinbajo’s Pentecostal “mafiasation” conspiracy theory of the country to now excusing a Muslim-Muslim ticket, arguing that religion shouldn’t trump skill, APC supporters have come a long way. long road. Their inconsistent reasoning and forked justification is the amoral nature of politics. This is why those who tend to win elections are those who redouble their efforts to make radical choices. The weaklings who do stupid things like make a video to show their critics that they have appointed the right mix of Muslims and Christians in their cabinet will end up not pleasing any serious electorate.
To avoid the embarrassment of their 2023 presidential ticket, some APC stalwarts have asked people to consider their presidential candidate’s wife, Remi Tinubu, to be a Christian and even a pastor at the RCCG. Good for her, but they can’t make us suddenly ignore religion and drag their candidate’s marriage into a political campaign to justify their choices. And if we are talking about the same Ms Tinubu who berated her colleague, Smart Adeyemi, when he rose to raise the issue of insecurity in the Senate, then these party defenders are not taking public resentment seriously enough. . Otherwise, they wouldn’t be asking Christians to console themselves with a woman who casually rejected legislative intervention in an unfolding national disaster, just so her privileged position wouldn’t be compromised. Anyone who thinks that such a woman in power will represent the interests of Nigerian Christians is mistaken. Even if you throw a token at people, at least make sure it’s useful.
What is even better than worrying about religion is to vote for your religious choice. If religion is so important to you, enough to want to show your irritation at being sidelined in Nigeria’s “religiousized” politics, you can still vote for a Christian presidential candidate. It really is that simple. This is what others will also do if the shoe is on the other foot. A few months ago, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) shamelessly swore that Yoruba Muslims would never vote for a Yoruba Christian as president, and that unless the hijab issue was resolved for them, Muslims would withhold their vote. . Such cynical manipulation of grassroots sentiment is not new in Nigerian politics. Travel as far back as 1993 and you’ll find similar politics. As much as I find identity politics rather distracting, I don’t know anywhere in the world where people have outgrown it. It will continue to recur every election season.
Well, Christian or Muslim, no one has to denigrate the other about it; Nigeria is tough enough to survive already. Those who abhor the composition of the APC presidential ticket reserve the right to vote for anyone.
That said, it is still important to remember that the case against the Tinubu-Shettima ticket is not their religion. Whichever God(s) they believe in is their private matter. Although we can only talk about religion since they often dangle it in our faces, the faith that politicians practice is inconsequential in the larger scheme of things. That’s why we need to stay focused on what really disqualifies this ticket. The case against the Tinubu-Shettima ticket is simple: they represent continuity with the failure that has plagued Nigeria for seven years and more. APC let us down in series, and that’s the most important reason why they should be swept up with their own brooms. They cannot be a government with so many failed policies that have brought poverty and hardship to Nigeria, and people only reject them on the basis of religion.
The APC failed in the same way – and perhaps much worse – than the People’s Democratic Party until 2015. We should keep the APC up to the standards they used to campaign against the PDP and reject them for the same reason they asked us to do. dismiss the PDP. Their administration failed and to vote for them in 2023 is to endorse that failure. Their scorecard in security, economy, education, health and general policies relating to the soul of the nation is reason enough for them to be ousted from power forever . They have nothing useful to offer Nigerians; don’t be fooled by the senseless peddling of their paid hacks that tell you that their candidate will build Nigeria like he built Lagos. Like everything else about their candidate, it’s a lie.
Lagos is one of the most dysfunctional cities in the world, and several objective assessments have proven it. Lagos is at the bottom of every ranking that measures the quality of life of cities around the world. Year after year, Lagos administrators are exposed as a bunch of red herrings. During the rainy season especially, their shoddy infrastructure crumbles in their faces and their ignorance is exposed. The only thing worth it for those who trotted out the dumb defense of their paymaster is that most of their audiences have never seen an actual city before in their entire lives, and therefore have no framework for a reasonable comparison. That’s why they dutifully regurgitate the lines of “Lagos works” when they don’t even know what a working town looks like.
For a state that has been under the same political party and leadership for the duration of Nigeria’s return to civilian rule since 1999, Lagos State administrators have little to show as proof of their administrative capacity. If after 23 years Lagos is still not among the 30 most livable cities in Africa, there is no guarantee that these people will fare better in Aso Rock. This truth need not be associated with religion to disqualify them. Why waste time and emotion on the insularity of the APC ticket when the issues that will eventually affect everyone – Christians, Muslims, traditional African religious, atheists, agnostics and all other faiths or not – are already staring us in the face ? The weak point of the APC team is not religion. Obsessed with religion, they will get away with what really disqualifies them, which is their terrible leadership record. It’s the case against them, and it speaks louder than any God they believe in.