The Middle Belt Youth Leaders have vowed to support the candidacy of the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Bola Tinubu if he is ready to substitute his running mate, Kashim Shettima with a Christian Candidate.
The Leaders who spoke at a forum in Abuja said the move by the APC is anti-progress and can potentially cause a sharp ethnic and religious divide in the country.
In a communique isssued at the end of the meeting, the leaders said the recent development in the country concerning political activities of the various political parties necessitated the convocation of a conference by over 200 youth groups under the Middle Belt Youth Leaders Conference.
The meeting deliberated extensively on the pros and cons of the Muslim-Muslim Ticket by the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The Chairman of the drafting Committee of the communique, Dr Ben Omale said the ethnic and religious plurality of the country has once again taken centre stage in the political life of the country.
The group said the Middle Belt region has not been adequately represented in the scheme of things in the country
“That some prominent Middle Belt leaders have compromised the legitimacy of the region in furtherance of their personal aggrandizement
“That the APC has acted against the interest of the country by presenting a Muslim-Muslim Ticket
That the move by the APC is anti-progress and can potentially cause a sharp ethnic and religious divide in the country.
“That the APC, by its action, has disrespected the Christian community in Nigeria” they said.
The communique however recommended that the leadership of the APC should tender an unreserved apology to the Christian community in Nigeria.
“That the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, should convoke a Christian stakeholder meeting across the country to explain what necessitated his decision to nominate a Muslim running mate.
“That the vice presidential candidate of the APC, Kashim Shettima, should voluntarily withdraw as the vice presidential candidate of the APC
“The APC leadership should present a notable Christian cleric from any state in the Middle Belt of North as its vice presidential candidate.
“That the APC must respect the ethnic and religious plurality in the country” they added
They concluded that the Muslim-Muslim Ticket by the APC is not in the interest of the country at large and that the APC’s vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, is not more qualified politically and intellectually than most Christians across the country.
“That the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, must seek to remedy the situation his decision to nominate a Muslim as his running mate has elicited in the country.
“That the APC should do the needful by presenting a Christian as its vice presidential candidate” they said