By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
The Senate is seeking an amendment to section 84 of the 2022 Electoral Act to prevent same faith ticket of either Muslim- Muslim or Christian – Christian for President and Vice President of Nigeria by any political party.
If the move sails through, the law will only take effect after the 2023 general elections.
Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi West) announced this Sunday at a media parley during which he displayed a draft copy of a bill to that effect to journalists in Abuja.
Adeyemi said the controversy the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket generated in the polity, necessitated the move.
He said to prevent future occurrence, a new sub – section is being proposed to section 84 of the 2022 Electoral Act.
“Section 84 of the Principal Act will be amended by inserting a new subsection 3 which will states thus “No political party shall nominate candidates of the same religion as Presidential candidate and Vice Presidential candidate after the 2023 election.
“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 policy which is capable of bringing down the fabrics of the Nation “, he said.
The lawmaker said wide range consultations on the need for the amendment had been made with the leadership of the Senate and other colleagues.
While describing the concerns raised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over same faith presidential ticket as genuine, he said the broadmindedness and pedigree of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima would allay all such fears being raised .
Tinubu and Shettima, he added, should be assessed based on their pedigrees and not their religious faith or even political party.
“Nigerians should look at the individual candidates contesting for the presidency in 2023 and not the political parties they belong to or religion they practice.
“Based on my conviction, despite the same faith ticket, Tinubu and Shettima are the best for the country come 2023.
“They have demonstrated required capacities, competence and commitment while in office as Executive Governors of Lagos and Borno States separately.
“Asiwaju Tinubu in particular, demonstrated his pan Nigerian disposition with his cabinet composition devoid of tribal or religious sentiments .
“He and Shettima are in actual fact Nigeria candidates that should be voted for,” he said.
The Kogi-born lawmaker lampooned the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, for violating the zoning policy of his political party, declaring it is the turn of the South , to produce next president.
He also took a swipe at the presidential candidate of the Labour Party for believing in street show which, Adeyemi said, cannot in anyway be used to win election.
“His Excellency Peter Obi ought not to have left PDP as required structure for presidential election. Street show or one million man match being displayed by Peter Obi supporters cannot win presidential election “, he said.
In attendance at the well attended press briefing are, top politicians from Kogi State and women groups.