Home News 2023 Presidential Race Muslim-Muslim ticket: Elections about numbers not faith, says Uzodimma

Muslim-Muslim ticket: Elections about numbers not faith, says Uzodimma


Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo state, says numbers play a key role in the ability of a political party to win elections.

Since Bola Tinubu won the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), there have been concerns about the geo-political zone and religion of his running mate.

Commenting on the controversy over a potential Muslim-Muslim ticket, Uzodimma said “spread is very important to be able to attract votes”.

The governor spoke on the matter on Tuesday while briefing journalists at the presidential villa.

“Spread is very important to be able to attract votes. So the decision of who becomes your running mate, if I were the candidate, what will inform it is what will I do as an action that will enable me to get the kind of votes I’m looking for because the ultimate goal is to win the election,” he said.

“So maybe I’ll start from the nomination, ethnicity, or followership. In this business of democracy I think number is what is very important. And there are certain things as a nation, we should not bring to the public discourse, those things that are capable of creating divisiveness against national unity should not be encouraged.

“It does not mean that I will not remember that I come from a place but I must also be cautious and careful how to use where I come from in taking national decisions. That is very important.”

Uzodimma said Nigerians should not focus on the religious and geopolitical leanings of Tinubu’s running mate, but rather be interested in who can deliver.

“We are looking for united Nigeria, where governance will be the issue, where a president would be adjudged by his capacity to deliver democratic dividends, develop Nigeria to look like other parts of the western world where democracy is working,” he said.

“I don’t want us to reduce governance in Nigeria to certain things that will encourage divisiveness, rather, we should be a united Nigeria, be our brother’s keepers, have a president of Nigeria that will be a president representing every tribe, every religion, every denomination. And when we get there, we will cross the bridge.”

The governor also said it is the responsibility of Tinubu to pick his running mate.

President Muhammadu Buhari, had on Tuesday, met with APC governors to discuss the choice of running mate for Tinubu.

Last week, Tinubu’s campaign organisation had said the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), a body of APC governors, is at liberty to pick a running mate for the presidential candidate.

Speaking on the matter, Uzodimma said: “The decision to choose a running mate does not reside with any of us the governors. It is the presidential candidate that will look at the local characteristics and every factor — political and apolitical — that will make him win his election and take the decision. So it’s not a decision that we will sit here and take for the candidate.

“If he chooses a governor so be it, we will support it. For now, we are no longer talking about who becomes running mate and who is not running mate. I have told you whose decision it is.

“The next thing as party leaders now and opinion leaders is for us to rise, mobilise the quality and get members of our party to commit to a successful election by 2023. So that our president that is leaving will also be handing over to our president of APC, that is our preoccupation now how to win the election.”

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed June 17 as the deadline for political parties to submit their list of candidates for — president, vice-president, senate and house of representatives — ahead of the 2023 general election.

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