Ahead of the 2023 general elections, National chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Oye has advised Nigerians to settle for a team capable of changing the governance narratives of the country.
Oye gave the advice against the backdrop of diverse commentaries elicited by the choice of Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Borno state as running mate to All Progressives Congress, APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Like Tinubu, Shettima is a practicing Muslim.
He said: “I don’t care about the religion of whoever wants to be President or Vice President. What matters to me and I am sure to most Nigerians is the capacity of the team to deliver.
“However, we are contending as a nation with a lot of challenges, one of which is national unity and cohesion. But if a Presidential candidate decided to pick a running mate of same faith, I think those not comfortable with that can look at other parties and see what they are offering. That is the truth of the matter.
“But I will tell you that religious differences will die a natural death if we are able to deal with the matter of state of origin. People should be able to vie for elective offices in places where they have lived long enough and made positive impact in the lives of the people.
“A man from Enugu should be able to contest election in Katsina and verse versa and win based on acceptability. This will unite us more than emphasis on Muslim/Christian ticket as many are advocating.”
“According to him, “the major problems we have in this country are politicians and religious leaders. They manipulate us all the time and until we take a firm stand not to fall for their games, we won’t get it right.
“We only question the religious balance of a ticket because we have lost our sense of morality and decency. We have highly placed Muslims in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari who have not resigned because Muslims have been killed.
“It is same with highly revered Christian leaders in the corridor of power. Has any of them resigned because Christians were killed senselessly?
“Which cleric has gone round to see the plight of Muslims and Christians in the hands of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and what have you? That tells you the problem is not about religion.
“I was part of the G-7 that later became the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and I can tell you that when that party was being formed, nobody talked about religion. When it was formed in 1998, the North was interested in the unity of the country and did not present a candidate to vie for the Presidency.
“We have had Presidents in the past who were either Christians or Muslims but did that solve our problems?”
Gabam then called on Nigerians to use the 2023 election window to elect a leader who has the competence to put the nation on a solid footing, adding that the next election cycle must be used to change the sorry tale of a country so blessed, yet so poor.