His comment is coming against the backdrop of widespread speculations in recent times that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) could give considerations to a joint Muslim ticket for the 2015 presidential election. The former Head of State and leading APC presidential aspirant, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), has declared that he is not opposed to Muslim-Muslim arrangement in which both the president and its deputy would come from same religious affiliation.
Buhari recently has made his stance known the matter during an interview with an online media, The Cable, last weekend.
The APC presidential aspirant, who recalled that he had opted for Christian running mates, namely Chuba Okadigbo, Edwin Ume-Ezeoke and Tunde Bakare, in previous shots at the presidency in 2003, 2007 and 2011, respectively, said there was nothing wrong in a Muslim-Muslim ticket, adding that the 2015 elections are not about religion.
According to him, “The question of this Muslim-Muslim ticket, although it was a long way from Abiola and Kingibe (in 1993), all the same, I have not absolutely closed my mind to picking a Christian or Muslim as running mate, if I get the ticket.
“I firmly believe that Nigerians, having gone through what they have gone through, realise it is not a matter of religion, but a matter of Nigeria.”
Buhari, who averred that the idea of stealing from and short-changing people in the name of religion was the preserve of those he called political confusionists, observed that Nigerians elected the late Chief MKO Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe as president and vice-president respectively during the 1993 presidential election, even though both were Muslims.
He said: “Why did Nigerians line up and elect Abiola and Kingibe, both Muslims?
“The late Joseph Tarka, in a clearly Roman Catholic environment, brought Ibrahim Imam from Borno, to his constituency to represent Tivland in the Northern House of Assembly in 1961.
“This new phenomenon of religion is another blackmail political confusionists in Nigeria are bringing to the fore. I will tell you something. Tinubu’s wife is a Christian, Governor Fashola’s wife is a Christian, Governor Amosun’s wife is a Christian, Bisi Akande’s wife is a Christian and Governor Ajimobi’s wife is a Christian.
“For goodness sake, the children of these political leaders in Nigeria were bred and brought up by Christian mothers.
“You think those people, wherever they participate, they will bring a religious issue? What kind of people are we? Nigerians will always bring something to cause confusion, while we are trying to stabilise the system.”