An association of Muslim professionals and technocrats, the Political Awareness Group (PAG), has said fielding Muslim candidates for president and vice president in next year’s general elections is the way forward if the party in power, the All Progressives Congress (APC) wants to win the election.
PAG Chairman Mr. Abdul-Waheed Olowonjaye made the statement in Ibadan during a stakeholder conference organized by the group.
He explained that it would be difficult for the APC to win the poll if it did not consider the option of a Muslim-Muslim ticket, stressing that winning an election was a numbers game.
“APC introduced a Muslim as the running mate of its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The party has no choice but to maintain this strategy if the objective is to win. Democracy is a numbers game. More so, a Tinubu Presidency is a program of all good citizens of Nigeria and the assignment of all legitimate Yorubas,” Olowonjaye said.
He urged Nigerians who do not have Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) not to complain about poor governance after the 2023 elections, saying PVC was the only power citizens have to change the country. for real.
He implored the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the deadline for voter registration to allow those who have not obtained their PVC to do so.
Olowonjaye said, “As Nigerians prepare for the 2023 elections, we want to raise awareness among Muslims. They should get their PVCs and vote for the right candidates.
“Now is the time to cultivate the land. It’s time to sow the seeds. They shouldn’t complain. Now is the time to prepare. If we want good governance, now is the time to sow the seeds. They should get their PVCs and vote in the elections.”
“I implore INEC to extend the registration deadline to allow all eligible voters to register.”
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “General Elections 2023: Nigeria’s Muslims Decide”, the Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Isiaq Akintola urged all Muslim groups to be politically active and to urge their members to sign up and get their PVC. .
“It is important that we get our PVCs. Don’t sell your votes. Do not participate in vote buying. Do not involve political violence. The person who wants to use you keeps their children at home,” Professor Akintola said.
He urged INEC not to prevent anyone from registering for PVCs, pointing out that disenfranchisement of an eligible citizen was a criminal offence.
“We will not ask you to show your PVCs before coming to the mosque. This [the mosque] is for the ummah. INEC has extended the deadline. Don’t wait for tomorrow. We have to get it. You cannot vote with a rosary,” the donation pointed out.
In a remark, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Oyo State, Mr. Mutiu Agboke, explained that there is no commission policy that prevents anyone from registering for PVCs at because of the hijab.
Agboke said, “If someone is denied because of hijab in Oyo State, that person should file a formal complaint. But I know my staff in Oyo State cannot stop anyone from registering because of hijab.
“I want to appeal to you, our Muslim community, to raise awareness among members to register for PVCs and vote for the candidates of their choice.”
Among the dignitaries present at the event are the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Dawud Akinola, who was represented by Alhaji Kazeem Eleta; the APC gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Senator Teslim Folarin, represented by Alhaji Rashid Folarin; the party’s senatorial candidate in Oyo Central District, Dr. Yunus Akintunde and the Baagi of Sakiland, Grand Chief AbdRasheed Adegoke.