The Muslim Rights Agenda says that for fairness, justice and equity, the next Yoruba presidential ticket must go to a Yoruba Muslim.
Apparently reacting to an alleged plan by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to draft the current president of the African Development Bank (ADB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, into the 2023 presidential race, the organization noted that whereas three Yoruba Christians have occupied Aso Rock Villa, no single Yoruba Muslim has held the post of president or vice president since independence.
The director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, said in a statement on Tuesday: “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.
“We remind the former president that as a Yoruba Christian, he has led Nigeria twice. He spent 3 years and 258 days as a military head of state (1976 – 1979) and another 8 years as a civilian president (1999 – 2007). 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.
Akintola said the attempt to drag Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, who is also a Yoruba Christian, into the presidential race negates the principles of fairness, justice and equity, and is an attempt to rob Yoruba Muslims of the presidential slot.
He said the organization believes that another Yoruba Christian presidency will usher in another opportunity for Christian hegemony and the marginalisation, stigmatisation, repression and persecution of Yoruba Muslims.
“Let Obasanjo tell us how many Yoruba Muslims were ministers in his administration. Even in Kwara State which is also a predominantly Muslim territory, Obasanjo picked two Christians as ministers (Cornelius Adebayo and Funke Doyin), but he could not extend such ‘luxury’ to Yoruba Muslims in the South West.
“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,” Akintola said further.