The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said he would not pick a Northern Muslim as his running mate for the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu on Wednesday said his running mate would be a Christian and would be from the North-East region of the country.
There have been speculations that the former Lagos State governor, who is a Muslim, is planning to choose his running mate from Muslim fellows in the Northern region.
But while speaking with journalists on Tuesday at the APC rally in Ekiti State, the APC National leader described the rumour as undemocratic peddled by the opposition who are against his 2023 presidential ambition.
Clarifying his choice of running mate, Tinubu maintained that his running mate shall be a North-Easterner, and must be a Christian.
He said, “The VP slot belongs to the Northeastern region and particularly the Christians, but consultations are yet ongoing as to who will be decided.”
Tinubu, who said that he would choose a Vice President solely on the basis of Nigerians’ preferences, noted that no organisation, institution, or individual could force a Vice President on him.
According to report, an Islamic preacher from northern Nigeria warned Tinubu not to pick a Christian from the northern region as his running mate ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The preacher and some others like him had threatened to mobilise Muslims to reject Tinubu and the APC during the forthcoming presidential election.
In a viral video, Sheikh Ibrahim Aliyu Kaduna had accused northern governors of trading the destiny of northern Muslims for a sick candidate’s money.
He had said, “Northern governors, especially Muslims amongst you are treacherous because you’ve sold our destiny; and God will punish you for that.
“You set aside a critical Islamic requirement because the first criterion for choosing a leader in Islam is that the person must be healthy and physically fit.”
“Now your second error will be to pair him (Tinubu) with a Christian from our region. This will be disastrous because we would mobilise the people to reject the ticket at the polling units,” he added.
Similarly, after congratulating Tinubu for emerging as the APC presidential candidate, a radical Muslim who identified himself as Aminu Jetaun, cautioned him against considering a northern Christian as his running mate.
He said, “You, Tinubu, make no mistake about this; do not pick a Christian as your running mate because we’ve yet to completely trust your own version of Islam.”
The issue has been a major subject of discourse since the election of Tinubu as the APC presidential candidate. It has dominated sermons in many mosques in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.