Usman Garba, a Kaduna-based chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has said that the party’s presidential flag-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, may lose the 2023 election if he fails to fly a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Garba, who was an APC senatorial contender for Kaduna Central in the just concluded primary election, argued that Muslims are about 80 per cent of the North’s population and that choosing a Christian candidate as running mate would be a political miscalculation that may rob the party of victory in the region.
The APC chieftain, who fielded questions from reporters, said Tinubu is the most qualified of all the presidential candidates, with a capacity and competence that is incomparable to other candidates from the other parties; and that he must have a popular running mate to emerge victorious.
“Forget the insinuation that, because PDP’s candidate is from the North and then we are going to lose in the North. Those saying that don’t have touch with history, or they have forgotten that Abiola defeated Bashir Tofa in Kano in the 1993 election,” Garba stated.
“Nigerians and northerners are very conscious and very knowledgeable when it comes to choosing their leader. They want a capable leader and going by history, none of the other candidates has the record of Tinubu in terms of good governance delivery. He is somebody who has mentored other leaders and he has national spread,” he said.
Speaking on the Muslim-Muslim ticket, Hon. Garba tackled people singling out the ruling party, for criticism, saying, “why are people only concerned about APC doing Muslim-Muslim ticket? The Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate picked a Christian as his running mate and nobody is concerned about that.
“You see, the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket is something that people are overblowing and making an unnecessary case about; the issue is how will you win the election? Whether Muslim or Christian, the people that will mobilize and help the party win in the election is the person you are looking for. If at the end of the day, we come to realize that there is a Christian in Northern Nigeria, which the party can pick, and help mobilize and win the election, we can pick the Christain, but if we put the equation together and realize that is not balanced itself, we will drop it.
“We have been picking Muslims from the North and Christian from the South. We know that predominantly people from the South are Christians, while people from the North are Muslims, but this time around, the game has changed, a Muslim from the South won the election, now, the issue of picking somebody from the North, we have to be very careful and conscious, because predominantly people living in the North are Hausa Fulani Muslims, which you can say they are about 80%.
“Having realized that, the Muslims are about 80% remove them from that equation, where do you belong to, so is that time they will decide to vote for the other candidate that is from the north, but if you pick a vibrant person among the Hausa Fulani, they will feel belong,.so and they will now channel their votes to the APC So we are very much conscious about winning the election.
“It is the good Governance that brought Tinubu on board. He has delivered in Lagos and it can be testified to by all. He developed Lagos from environment to revenue generation to infrastructural development. He has the capacity when it comes to good governance,” Garba said.