The Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has opened up on his endorsement of the Muslim-Muslim ticket fielded by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Fashola said that he is endorsing a Muslim-Muslim ticket because it will best serve the purpose of getting numbers for the ruling party in the 2023 general elections.
HausaToday recalls that the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had chosen and unveiled the former Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, as his running mate for the 2023 election.
This development by the ruling party has continued to attract varied reactions from prominent Nigerians, Christain groups and civil societies.
Speaking on Sunday during an interview on Channels TV, Fashola asked Nigerians to focus on the competence of the presidential candidates rather than discuss their religions.
The minister stressed that religion should be totally a private affair.
Fashola said that people are being killed in churches and in mosques even with a Christian Vice President and a Muslim President currently in charge of the country.
He said, “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.”