Paschal Emeka, Abuja
A member, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Board of Trustee (BoT), Prof. ABC Nwosu has criticized the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu to pick his fellow Muslim, the former governor of Borno State, Sen. Kashim Shetima as his running mate.
He also condemned the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) decision to go against its constitution, by giving its presidential ticket to a Northerner, instead of a Southerner, as stipulated by its constitution.
Recall that against the agitation from the Southeast and others that the major political parties should zone their presidency to South and Southeast in particular; the two major political parties; the PDP and APC picked their presidential candidates from the Northeast and Southwest respectively, while the Labour Party picked its presidential flag-bearer from the Southeast.
However, the one that has been attracting reactions and cacophony of voices from Nigerians is the choice of former Borno State governor, Sen. Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim (Muslim – Muslim ticket) by the APC presidential candidate, Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Speaking to our correspondent recently in Abuja the nation’s capital, on the Muslim – Muslim ticket, Prof. Nwosu, an elder statesman said: “On principle, it is wrong. Christian – Christian ticket is wrong; Muslim – Muslim ticket is wrong; Igbo – Igbo ticket is wrong; Hausa – Hausa ticket is wrong, because there is nothing to me like Hausa – Fulani or Fulani – Hausa, there no such ethnic group and Yoruba – Yoruba ticket is wrong.”
He observed with concern and dismay that the problem that has bedeviled the development of Nigeria as a nation has been the inability of Nigerians to manage the diversity of the country well.
He informed that when Nigeria’s diversity was being well managed, an indigene of Katsina, Mallam Umaru Altine contested, won and became the first mayor of Enugu Municipal Council twice, under the platform of the then National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC), even as he added that the mayor also married a daughter of a prominent Igbo person.
He therefore, harped on the need for the leaders and the led to embrace equity in the Nigerian project, even as he frowned at the discrimination going on in appointments in public offices in the country. This, he said, should be stopped for the interest of the country’s diversity.
On the violation of the PDP’s constitution, he said: “The constitution of the PDP provided, still provides and it is there, black and white, for rotation of the presidency of Nigeria between the North and South. It serves the PDP well; Obasanjo, Yar’adua, Jonathan and before it shifted. So, it hasn’t been removed from the constitution of the PDP. And it is my own personal view that the PDP shouldn’t have violated its constitution,” he said.
The elder statesman maintained that the presidency should have been rotated to the South, as prescribed by the PDP constitution and then micro zoned to the Southeast for the interest of equity.
Prof Nwosu expressed disappointment by the decision of a governor from the South-South to aspire for president during the primaries, after the Southeast gave Jonathan from the South-South full support, which according to him, contributed immensely to his emergence as Nigeria’s president.
“Well, I know those who believe that it should be thrown open to Nigerians on merit as if merit is not found in the Southeast. It should have been zoned to the South and when it is zoned to the South, then everybody will be clear. The confusion came from the South-South governor, showing interest in it, when the Southeast gave the South-South President Jonathan the bulk of their support, it is a betrayal of the greatest order.”
Challenging those who said it was their constitutional right to aspire and contest for the presidency, as if it wasn’t Abubakar Rimi’s constitutional right in 1998, Nwosu, however, said that he has never believed in transactional politics (politics of what do I get). He therefore, added that he believed in the principle of, “when it is not right, it is not right.”