Muslim-Muslim ticket: Nigerians will vote APC- Fashola
The Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has disclosed that the All Progressives Congress stands a better chance to win the 2023 election despite the controversy surrounding the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The former Lagos State governor made the clarification while speaking on Sunday during an interview on Channels TV.
He noted that the challenges facing Nigerians transcend division along religious and ethnic lines, adding that there was a need for the country to have people who know their onions at the helms of affairs.
On the controversy surrounding the Muslim-Muslim ticket, Fashola said, “They (the presidential candidates) should really recalibrate and get back to issues and that is what concerns Nigerians. Those are the debate we should really have.
“How do we move ourselves to the prosperity that is imminent for this country and who is the best person to drive that (Nigeria) vehicle to prosperity.
“In my own opinion, Asiwaju is the best person to drive that vehicle because I have worked with him at very close quarters and I know his capacity; tenacity and I think sometimes we need to test some hypotheses and the opportunity to test these hypotheses is there.
“My position about religion has been made known on different platforms and I think religion should leave public space and go back to where it belongs; to the homes and religious centres.
“There’s too much religion in our public life and there is no nation that is valorising religion. It (religion) is a private thing. All these praying in public, I think we should just stop them and get to the real business. When you’re in the office (elective positions), go and do your work.
“We have to understand that democracy is an undertaking of numbers essentially and democracy is not always rational. It is the tyranny of the majority that has replaced the tyranny of the minority because democracy was created to stop one man or woman from dictating to the majority.
“So, everybody will make his political calculations about what he thinks will best serve his purpose and I think to look at something simply on the basis of A or B is perhaps to miss the point.
“I think sometimes, we should stop being afraid of fear itself. If this (Muslim-Muslim ticket threat) is something that is real, the votes (in 2023) will show it eventually and that is my take really. And at the end of the day, who cares really?
“At the end of the day, the issue is people want good water, schools, good public healthcare facilities and people want infrastructures. If you go on both sides, there’s been a Christian vice-president under a Muslim President and sadly people were killed in a church, and priests are murdered the same way Muslims have been murdered.
“Neither the President nor Vice-President loves those things to happen. I don’t and you don’t but these things have nothing to do with our faith. Those who do it in the name of our faith are not members of our faith. They don’t profess our faith because both faiths preach peace.
“What is our people afraid of? We even assume that there are only two faiths. If this (opposition against the Muslim-Muslim ticket) is about representation, we haven’t represented everybody. There are minorities who don’t belong to both faith and they have a voice too and so let’s find a second vice-president or a president for them.
“Let us demystify these things about what it really is and that is why in my starting position I said we should leave religion where it belongs; in the hearts of people, churches, mosques and places of worship, homes. (Religion) in the public space, no! Religion doesn’t belong there.”
On the chances of APC winning the 2023 general election despite the outcry that greeted its Muslim-Muslim ticket, the minister said, “I think that on the basis of what we have done, Nigerians have had the opportunity of two governments and that is why I said the candidates should return to the issues.
“On very deep reflection, right-thinking Nigerians will reelect our party and I’m optimistic about that. I think we have served this country as efficiently as we can in the most difficult times.
“No government has faced COVID-19 and we did. No government faced a global scarcity of resources caused by a war that we are not involved in and we did and we are still managing that economy and providing hope and succour. I am optimistic that we will win.”