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Smart Adeyemi proposes bill to bar same-religion ticket

A senator of the All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Kogi west, Smart Adeyemi says he is proposing a bill to stop the nomination of candidates of the same religion on a joint ticket.

If passed into law, a presidential candidate would not be able to choose a running mate who shares the same faith.

Bola Tinubu, Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Kashima Shettima are both Muslims.

The Muslim-Muslim ticket has drawn criticism, including from members of the party.

Speaking yesterday at a media briefing in Abuja, Adeyemi said the bill is seeking to amend the electoral act.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that his proposed bill was titled “A Bill for an act to amend the Electoral Act 2022 and for other related matters connected 2022.”

Mr Adeyemi, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District, said the bill was seeking to amend section 84 of the Act by inserting a new subsection (3).

According to him the proposed sub section 3 entailed that:

“No political party shall nominate candidates of the same religion as Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates after this dispensation.

“This bill may be cited as Electoral Act 2022 (Amendment) Bill, 2022,” Mr Adeyemi said.

He said the bill sought to amend the Electoral Act 2022 to promote religious harmony in the country by discouraging political parties from fielding running mates of the same religion with the presidential candidate.

“I hereby propose an amendment of Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 by inserting a new sub section 3.

“When this is accommodated, it will serve as a guide against any oversight, such as this in the future as further occurrences will be deemed as silent policies which will be capable of bringing down the fabrics of the nation.

“For me as a statesman, I owe myself the responsibility to speak the truth at all times, irrespective of mischievous misinterpretations,” Mr Adeyemi said.

Mr Adeyemi said he supported the positions of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on the contentious issue of Muslim–Muslim ticket.

He, however, said he was fully in support of the candidacy of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as APC candidates for the 2023 presidential election, given their individual steering performances and pedigrees in governance.

”Let me say very clearly that I am in total support of the issues and concerns raised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). I am a practising Christian.

”But we must not confront these issues in such a manner that will obstruct the fabric of our national unity, peace and stability which we have all fought very hard to keep.

“Yes, there have been oversights in key appointments in the past, which tends to keep the Christians at a disadvantage and this has caused apprehension amongst us.”

“It must not be seen that there are no Christians who are eminently qualified to occupy any of these positions.”

Mr Adeyemi called on all Nigerians, irrespective of religion, to see the emergence of Messrs Tinubu and Shettima as the will of the almighty who governs the universe.

”However, let us, in unity of faith in our nation and above all, in the almighty God give our support to the APC Presidential and Vice presidential candidates to pilot the affairs of our nation within the stipulated time.”

(NAN)

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