The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says it is the turn of Muslims from the Yoruba race to produce the next president of the country in 2023.
The rights group, in a statement by its director, Ishaq Akintola, said it was reacting to speculations in some quarters that former president Olusegun Obasanjo was scheming to ensure Akinwunmi Adesina, the incumbent president of the African Development Bank (ADB) takes part during the next presidential race.
Mr Akintola who said three Yoruba Christians including Obasanjo have been in Aso Rock since the nation gained independence argued that the recent move of the former president negates the principles of fairness, justice and equity enshrined in a democracy and it is aimed at robbing Yoruba Muslims of the next presidential slot.
“Obasanjo’s attempt to drag Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina who is also a Yoruba Christian into the presidential race negates the principles of fairness, justice and equity,” the group said. “It is an attempt to rob Yoruba Muslims of the presidential slot and it violates a cardinal principle of democracy, namely, inclusiveness.
“It is an open secret that Yoruba Muslims who form the majority of the population in the South West are being denied their Allah-given fundamental human rights. This has led to complaints and court cases initiated by Muslims across Yorubaland over political and religious persecution. Yoruba Muslims are at the receiving end of deprivation of civil liberties. It is our contention that another Yoruba Christian presidency will usher in another opportunity for Christian hegemony and the marginalisation, stigmatisation, repression and persecution of Yoruba Muslims.
“Let Obasanjo tell us how many Yoruba Muslims were ministers in his administration. Even in Kwara State which is also a predominantly Muslim territory, Obasanjo picked two Christians as ministers (C. O. Adebayo and Funke Doyin). But he could not extend such ‘luxury’ to Yoruba Muslims in the South West.
“MURIC rejects this grand design to keep Muslims in Yorubaland in perpetual bondage. There are many Yoruba Muslims who are eminently qualified for the post of president. We also believe that the interest of the Yoruba people will be best served if they will channel their grievances towards ensuring that a Yoruba man emerges president instead of pursuing a separatist agenda that may lead them nowhere.
“We advise ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to relax his grip on the Nigerian jugular vein. He should stop pushing Yoruba Muslims to the background. Christians are not the only human beings in Yorubaland. Fair sharing spreads goodwill. Monopoly generates rancour and ill-feeling. There is no true democracy where there is no inclusiveness. The political party does not matter to us. What is important is that the next Yoruba presidential ticket must go to a Yoruba Muslim in the name of fairness, justice and equity,” the statement partly read.