***Demands he resigns to pave way for a Christian Vice president if he is patriotic
The coalition of Middle Belt Youth Leaaiders have called out the Vice President-elect senator Kashim Shettima to honorably resign his position to pave the way for his replacement by a Christain Vice President.
The group spoke on Thursday against the backdrop that Senator Shettima was reported on 13th May, 2023 to have counseled the elected legislative members of the 10th Assembly that “the Senate president and the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives cannot be of same faith because it would fuel Islamisation agenda narrative.
The vice president elect had explained further that, “What we are trying to avoid is a situation whereby the number one citizen, number two citizen, the number three citizen, and the number four citizen are all of the same faith. That will lend credence, and validate the negative narrative of the Islamization agenda of Nigeria”.
In his opinion, a situation where the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are Muslims, could “validate the negative narrative of the Islamisation agenda of Nigeria”.
“Shettima added that the leadership of the 10th Assembly must be all inclusive because the “stability of the nation is much more important than any other consideration”.
Addressing a Press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Youth Leader of the Middle Belt Forum, Comrade Nasiru Jagaba who spoke on Behalf of the Coalition said Shettima is only riddiculing Christianity as well as deceiving and or manipulating Nigerians, particularly the elected members of the 10th Assembly as they prepare for the elections of leaders of the National Assembly in a matter of weeks from now.
“This is a cunning way to attempt to hoodwink the elected lawmakers into accepting the zoning arrangement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the leadership of the 10th national assembly.
He said Shettima sounded in his counsel like a patriot and great democrat in that quote.
“However, it would have been better judged so if these words from Sen. Shatima came against the call for him to pick the Vice Presidential ticket along side a Muslim in person of the President Elect, Bola Ahmed Asiwaju Tinubu.
“Recall that there was immense tension at the announcement of Sen. Shatima as the running mate of Tinubu in the months before the general elections, from the party, organizations, associations, spirited individuals and even from the international community.
“There were agitations against that ticket on the basis of the same threats to the Nation’s stability that Sen. Kashim Shatima is basing his arguments on today.
“Notably on 5th of September, 2022 the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) outrightly registered her rejection of the Tinubu-Shatima ticket on the basis of being a same faith ticket and a threat to the Nation’s stability as reported in Punch Newspaper of same date.
“Thisdaylive reports Hon. Yakubu Dogara on 31 January, 2023 a member of the APC then as saying that “Muslim-Muslim Ticket Will Polarise Nigerians along Religious, Tribal Lines…” Sahara Reports had a news item tiltled “APC’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket Is Call To Jihad, Shows Supremacy Of Islam In Nigeria – Kano Preacher, Auwal, Tells Congregation To Vote Massively…” reported 6 January, 2023 and also in Channels Television Sen.
“Kabiru Marafa a Member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council is reported as having said that “those against the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the party are hypocrites treating the presidential race with bias…” (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.channelstv.com/2023/01/04/those-against-muslim-muslim-ticket-are-hypocrites-says-apc-presidential-campaign-council/amp/).
“These were more than enough triggers of threats to the stability of the nation and the causal force to that is the appointment of Sen. Shatima as the running mate of Tinubu.
“While all of these was happening, our dear vice president elect was comfortable with the narrative that he was appointed on the basis of competence and the stability of the nation was not a matter to sacrifice for then.
“We are surprised that Sen. Kashim Shettima, a Muslim from Borno who did not only lobby but accepted to be vice to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a Muslim from the South, could not advise his principal on the danger of running a same faith ticket in the executive arm of the nation’s government but suddenly found his voice against a same faith leadership in the Nation’s legislative arm.
“It is equally alarming, that Sen Kashim Shettima could not think about “stability of the nation” when himself and his principal ran on a same faith ticket, thereby causing so much disaffection among citizens of the country along religious lines as reported above and the many here not captured.
“We wonder, Why Shettima did not remember or think about the stability of the country when Bola Tinubu picked him and ran on a Muslim-Muslim ticket?
“Where was this counseling ability when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was searching for running mate? Why didn’t he decline his nomination as running mate to Asiwaju for the sake of the “stability of the nation”.
“However, despite the Muslim-Muslim ticket, Nigerians, (Muslims and Christians alike) campaigned for the ticket and voted for it not minding the faith. Suddenly, because of his parochial interest on the leadership of the National Assembly, he is conscious to the fact of threats to the nation’s stability and feels bold enough to champion a war against the same faith.
According to him,if the vice President Elect was a democrat, a patriot, and a true leader whose interest is the good of the nation he would have suggested a mixed faiths ticket for each arm of the nation’s government and not only the legislative arm.
“This to us is a clear show of shamelessness and reckless disregard to the common interests for self interest and if our opinion is true, then Nigeria is in for a ride with a mind as this on the second most powerful seat in Nigeria.
“Mr Vice President Elect this problem was created by the Executive and the Legislature cannot be used as a pawn to solve this problem.
“As patriot and objective minds whose interest is the good of the nation, We here today warn Kashim Shettima to stop this manipulation and unnecessary incitements against the relative peace that we are enjoying for now.
“He should not remind us of the past, it was under his regime that Christian girls were abducted in Chibok and till this day, some of them are still being held captive.
“Election of the leadership of the National Assembly has never been about religion/faith, so, we employ Kashim Shettima and his co-travelers to desist forthwith from the unhealthy incitement and allow elected lawmakers to choose their leaders.
“Shatima should note that he holds no moral justification to give that counsel even if it were to be the best counsel.
“Nigeria and Nigerians are calm and okey with how the elected members of the 10th National Assembly are going on with their activities ahead of the elections of her leaders in accordance with the constitutional provisions and extant laws thereto.
Hence , we advise he and his agents must let them be as it is because his counsel is not needed. The country has moved on, and we do not need this.
“We believe that the best way Sen. Kashim Shettima can show that he is sensitive to the stability of this country and his sudden advocacy for Christianity is to humbly step down for a Christian Vice President as it is still not too late.
“This is the best way forward now that he has found his voice and conscience. Until that is done, we will continue to rate Shettima as a bigot, who specializes in manipulating religion for his personal interest.”
He admonished elected lawmakers of the 10th National Assembly not to let themselves be deceived by Shettima’s Machiavellian moves.
“They should elect leaders that defend the interest of the majority of Nigerians, irrespective of their faith or ethnicity. They should know that Nigerians have great expectations and goodwill for them and that we support whatever they decide by themselves hence, they should guide and guard themselves from the voices that they take counsel from.”