The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has said the next Yoruba presidential candidate should be a Muslim in the interest of fairness, justice and equity.
MURIC made the call amid rumours that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was trying to draft the current President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Akinwunmi Adesina, into the 2023 presidential race.
The Muslim human rights organisation based its stand on the fact that while three Yoruba Christians have occupied Aso Rock villa, no single Yoruba Muslim has held the post of president or Vice President since independence.
MURIC stated this in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director and made available to journàlists on Tuesday.
According to MURIC, “Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo is reportedly making attempts to draft the current President of the African Development Bank (ADB), 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 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.
“Obasanjo’s attempt to drag Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina who is also a Yoruba Christian into the presidential race negates the principles of fairness, justice and equity. It is an attempt to rob Yoruba Muslims of the presidential slot and it violates a cardinal principle of democracy, namely, inclusiveness.
“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.