The Nigeria Political terrain is a very peculiar one. Perhaps no one Country in our continent can compare with ours in the role which Nigeria seeks, or pretends to play in our political system. This is why one cannot be completely surprised at the present tumult surrounding the choice or nomination of political office holders. But then the extent to which Nigeria is going perhaps has no equal in all of Africa.
Put simply, Nigeria is polarised along two religious sets. I hate to say this, but that is the plain fact. What is not factual is that this polarization does not affect adversely their relations, their daily life or their political orientation whatever. One of the main religious bodies to which I claim to belong is sub-divided into sets, groups and bodies. Some indeed are personalised into family sets, claiming falsely to be servants of the Almighty God. Indeed some are mere cranks and frauds.
The above is the situation we find ourselves as Muslims and Christians. Incidentally our Muslim brothers are not as polarised as we who claim to be Christians. In many ‘Christian’ sets you will find more ritualistic tendencies than you will find in outright ‘Babalawo’ exclaves. Whereas Muslims are worshipers in the same way, with the same tenents and the same submission.
Coming to the grassroots politics of Nigeria, Tinubu would be well- off the mark if he were looking for a Christian Running Mate in Northern Nigeria. More realistically the political arithmetic does not give him or any one “In his shoes any other choice than to identify and pick a popular politician who has the majority behind him and who shares the same fundamental political beliefs and history. Shopping for a ‘good’ Christian would be foolish and naïve.
Looking at and listening to some Christians, including even Bishops pontificate on religious balance in the choice of political aspirants is just naive and almost unbelievable. What has the mode of worship got to do with good political leadership? What Tinubu and others like him, or who were faced with the problem of Running Mate is how much could voters bring to the ticket? Again the Presidential Nominee would be out of place if he considered religious rather than raw numbers or possible voters, people who share the same political belief, not religious fervor.
Unfortunately our Country’s press does not consider the interest of the Country above all other minor things. Most guilty are the Television interviewers whose personal views are so pedestrian and which they would wish to push down the throat of politicians and voters. Some of the questions they seek to put through the throat of politicians in their T.V interviews are so fundamentally silly, personal and laughable. Let us see, what the Tinubu team would do. At least the Presidency seems to be on the way down South. That should be the concern of most reasonable Nigerians now, not petty religious beliefs.
- Chief Fasuan MON, JP, is a retired Permanent Secretary in Ekiti State and an elderstateman.