The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says the 2023 presidential ticket must be given to a Yoruba Muslim.
In a statement on Monday, Ishaq Akintola, director of MURIC, said former President Olusegun Obasanjo is making plans to draft Akinwunmi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AFDB), into the 2023 presidential race.
MURIC said Obasanjo’s attempt to draft Adesina, who is a Yoruba Christian, into the race negates the principles of fairness, justice and equity.
The group noted that while three Yoruba Christians have “occupied Aso Rock villa”, not a single Yoruba Muslim has been allowed to hold the position of president or vice president since independence.
MURIC described it as “an attempt to rob Yoruba Muslims of the presidential slot”, adding that it violates the principle of inclusiveness.
“Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo is reportedly making attempts to draft the current president of the African Development Bank (ADB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, into the 2023 presidential race. We object to this move. Obasanjo wants to waste all the efforts put in place by the Nigerian government to get Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina to that continental position,” the statement reads.
“We remind the former president that as a Yoruba Christian, he has led Nigeria twice. Two other Yoruba Christians have also occupied Aso Rock. Chief Earnest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan was the interim head of state from 26th August 1993 to 17th November, 1993. The current vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is also a Yoruba Christian.
“It is an open secret that Yoruba Muslims who form the majority of the population in the South West are being denied their Allah-given fundamental human rights.
“This has led to complaints and court cases initiated by Muslims across Yorubaland over political and religious persecution. Yoruba Muslims are at the receiving end of deprivation of civil liberties. It is our contention that another Yoruba Christian presidency will usher in another opportunity for Christian hegemony and the marginalisation, stigmatisation, repression and persecution of Yoruba Muslims.
“MURIC rejects this grand design to keep Muslims in Yorubaland in perpetual bondage. There are many Yoruba Muslims who are eminently qualified for the post of president. We also believe that the interest of the Yoruba people will be best served if they will channel their grievances towards ensuring that a Yoruba man emerges president instead of pursuing a separatist agenda that may lead them nowhere.
“We advise ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to relax his grip on the Nigerian jugular vein. He should stop pushing Yoruba Muslims to the background. Christians are not the only human beings in Yorubaland.
“The political party does not matter to us. What is important is that the next Yoruba presidential ticket must go to a Yoruba Muslim in the name of fairness, justice and equity.”