National Vice Chairman, ( North West) of the All Progressives Congress, Salihu Lukman has declared that federal lawmakers of Islamic faith, seeking to be President of the Senate of the 10th National Assembly should perish the thought.
Lukman in a statement, “Cash-and-Carry Contest for Leadership of 10th National Assembly,” released to newsmen at the weekend said the fact that both the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice-President, Kashim Shettima were both Muslims should preclude chieftains of same religion not to aspire to occupy the office of Senate President.
The former Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum maintained that it would portray the party as insensitive to the feelings of Nigerians, against the backdrop of the disaffection that trailed the APC single faith ticket.
Lukman who incidentally is a member of the APC National Working Committee also argued that allowing a Muslim to occupy the office of Senate President would breach provision of the 1999 Constitution.
Any Muslim aspiring for the position of Senate President has no respect for both the constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the APC. This is because Chapter II, Section 14(3) of the Nigerian constitution clearly outlined that ‘the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.
With two Muslims already elected to be sworn in as President and Vice President of the Federal Republic on May 29, any attempt to consider another Muslim as Senate President will promote the dominance of Muslims in the Federal Government and will be injurious to national unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria as a sovereign entity, which must not be allowed.
Further, the APC constitution enjoined party leaders and members to “render service at all levels of governance, and to build a nation which will guarantee equal opportunity for all, mutual and peaceful co-existence, respect and understanding, eliminating all forms of discrimination and social injustice among Nigerians, rendering selfless service that will rekindle a deep sense of patriotism and nationalism.”
How can anyone aspiring for position of leadership at all levels seeking to bribe his/her way be said to be interested in rendering service? Such a person will only be interested in rendering service to himself and himself alone. Besides, given that both the two persons allegedly involved in this cash-and-carry approach to mobilising support for their emergence as Senate President are Muslims, it will be gross insensitivity to the peaceful co-existence of the country and disrespectful to Nigerians to allow them to continue to aspire for the position of Senate President.
In addition, any Muslim Senator-elect aspiring for the position of Senate President is disrespectful to the leaders of the country and the party, including President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu.
However considered, the emerging risks threatening the peaceful co-existence of Nigeria, however manifest, will squarely be interpreted based on the actions or inactions of the political leadership of the country in the persons of President Buhari as the current leader and Asiwaju Tinubu as his successor.
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