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Fresh Move: Senate mulls banning same faith ticket in future elections

By Haruna Salami

In an apparent response to the controversy generated by the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressive Congress, the Senate is seeking 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  after the 2023 general election.

The move in this direction was made by Senator Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West ) on Sunday by showing a draft copy of a bill to that effect to journalists covering the Senate.

Adeyemi at the  press briefing said the controversy Muslim-Muslim presidential  ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC ) generating in the polity, necessitated the move.

According to him, 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 m 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 .

He added that wide range consultations  on the need for the amendment have been made with the leadership of the Senate and other colleagues.

However, he  said that though apprehensions  raised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over same faith presidential ticket are  genuine, but the broadmindedness and pedigree of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shetimma, will allay all 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 individuals  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 Shetimma 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 State separately .

“Asiwaju Tinubu in particular,  demonstrated his pan-Nigerian disposition with his cabinet composition devoid of tribal or religious sentiments

“He and Shetimma are in actual fact Nigeria candidate that should be voted for “, he said .

He lampooned the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for violating the zoning policy of his political party by 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 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.

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