A Senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Smart Adeyemi on Sunday kicked against the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying a repeat of such development is capable of bringing down the fabrics of the nation.
Adeyemi while addressing newsmen in Abuja, however, said he supports the presidential candidate of the ruling party, Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, not because they are members of APC, but his knowledge of the duo, their track records and antecedents.
Adeyemi, who backed the concern raised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the Muslim-Muslim ticket, said that the association made some cogent observations, adding, “there have been oversights in key appoints in the past, which tends to keep the Christians at a disadvantage and this has caused apprehension amongst us.”
Urging the government to confront issues in such a manner that will not obstruct the fabric of national unity, peace and stability, he said that the peace and unity of the nation are sacrosanct.
The lawmaker also said that the diversity of the nation should be balanced, adding, “for the purposes of unity, we must balance up our diversity to a large extent. And it is in view of this that I am making some proposals. I have had discussions with the leadership of the Senate, my party leadership and a good number of Senators.
“The solution I hereby propose, in order not to find ourselves in a similar situation in the future, is that the electoral act be amended as follows: the amendment of Section 84 of the electoral act 2022 by inserting a new sub-section (3) that no political party shall nominate candidates of the same religion as presidential
candidates or vice-presidential candidates after this dispensation.
“I hereby propose the amendment of Section 84 of the electoral act 2022 by inserting a new sub
section 3, When this is accommodated, it will serve as a guide against any oversight such as this in the future as further occurrences will be deemed as silent policies which will be capable of bringing down the fabrics of the nation.”
Adeyemi carpeted the Upper Chamber for not blocking moves by the APC to field a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 Presidential elections.
The lawmaker said that the Upper Chamber made “a major oversight” during the amendment of the Electoral Act.
Insisting that the failure of the upper chamber gave the APC the opportunity to take such a decision, Adeyemi said that the Senate will therefore introduce a new subsection to Section 82 (14) of the Electoral Act 2022 to ban a repeat of such a move in subsequent elections.
“We should’ve amended the Electoral Act to prevent candidates of the same religion. We made a major blunder. But I’m proposing a Bill to prevent recurrence in future elections beyond 2023,” he said.
On his support for Tinubu and Shettima, Adeyemi said, “I have had the privilege of knowing the candidates personally before now, and my support for them as individuals is not based on the fact that they are members of the APC or because they are Muslims as I am a Christian myself. It is simply based on my knowledge of them as individuals, it is based on their track records and antecedents.”
Lamenting the poor state of the nation, Adeyemi said, “the second challenge confronting our nation today is the issue of the poor state of our economy, the inexplicable poor exchange rate, the need for the consolidation of diversification of the economy and improving on the achievement of the current administration on infrastructural facilities such roads, rail lines and aviation.”