December 5, 2022

The Islamic human rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern, has commended Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the national leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, for endorsing the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the preferred candidate for Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.

The PUNCH reports that Fasoranti gave his blessings to Tinubu on Sunday, October 30, 2022, when the latter visited him at his country home in Akure, Ondo State.

MURIC hailed the development through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Thursday, November 3, 2022, describing the earlier endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, by Afenifere’s national leader, Ayo Adebanjo, as “illogical.”

The statement read, “The national leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, has endorsed Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the preferred presidential candidate for Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.

“MURIC commends Pa Fasoranti for his sportsmanship and broadmindedness. Pa Fasoranti’s name will be engraved in letters of gold for ignoring the illogical, irrational and inexplicable choice of Pa Ayo Adebanjo who declared support for Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

“We advise Pa Adebanjo to reflect on the events surrounding the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the role of the National Democratic Coalition in confronting military totalitarians and, in particular, the sterling quality of Tinubu among NADECO’s dramatis personae.

“Equally noteworthy for Pa Adebanjo is Tinubu’s heroic and miraculous rescue of Yorubaland from Nigeria’s drift to a one-party state and the attendant tyranny and dictatorship that would have followed in the hands of no other than one of the sons of Yorubaland who found himself in Aso Rock by accident but used the major part of his tenure to persecute Yorubaland. Perchance such retrospective glance, like the last look at the Moor, will remove the veil covering Pa Adebanjo’s eyes.”

MURIC said endorsing Tinubu was capable of uniting the Yorubas even as Christians and Muslims would now be supporting Tinubu as well.

“A major significance of Pa Fasoranti’s endorsement of Tinubu is that it is capable of uniting the Yoruba people as Muslims and Christians will now rally behind Tinubu in a united front. The likely fallout of this development is a future payback by Yoruba Muslims who have shown the willingness to support a Christian candidate in future if their Christian counterparts vote for Tinubu, a Yoruba Muslim, in the 2023 presidential election.

“The 2023 elections are of a great importance to Yoruba Muslims because of the likelihood of a Muslim from the region emerging as President for the first time. All those who have tasted power in the past among the Yoruba have been Christians (Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Earnest Shonekan, Oladipo Diya and Yemi Osinbajo).

“It will be recalled that MURIC had earlier called for a Yoruba Muslim president as far back as February 2021.

It is also worthy of note that MURIC reiterated the call for a Yoruba Muslim president again in May and October 2021, long before the presidential primaries.

“This goes to show how important the Tinubu project is to Yoruba Muslims. It follows, therefore, that the extent to which Yoruba Christians respond positively or otherwise will go a long way to determine the parameter with which Yoruba Muslims will measure the future relationship between them and their Christian neighbours,” the statement added.

The body said Nigerians must think of what united them than that which divided them. “Yoruba Muslims and their Christian counterparts can work together for the greatness of Yorubaland in particular and Nigeria in general if they can come together in moments like this. We must think more of things that unite us instead of dissipating energy on things that divide us.

“Christians and Muslims in Yorubaland must come together at this crucial time for the purpose of grabbing the open sesame to the doors of Aso Rock. The zone is fortunate to have the gem of the collection, a unifier, a builder of men, a rare genius, a political colossus, the possessor of economic magic wand, the man who turned Lagos to a land of gold, Bola Tinubu,” MURIC concluded.

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