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2023Politics

2023: Look beyond religion, Akeredolu urges Christians

The Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has begged Nigerian Christians to look beyond religion and focus on the competence of the presidential candidate ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

Stressing that the buck stops on the President’s table, Akeredolu added that what is important is to have a Southern president come 2023.

The Ondo Governor, who is also the Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, insisted that the North can not retain power after spending eight years in office.

Akeredolu spoke on Sunday at the 40th Holy Ghost Convention Dinner of The Sword of the Spirit Ministries held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Agbawo, Ibadan, Oyo State capital, according to a statement made available to the press by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde.

The Governor explained that he led his colleagues in the Southern Governors’ Forum to demand a Southern Presidency despite stiff opposition from some quarters.

He called on the people not to throw away the chances of producing the next President, particularly from the Southwest where Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu hails from.

He said, ”I discussed with Bishop Francis Wale Oke that presidency must come to the South. Take it or leave it, it is the minimum we can get. It must come to the South. The North cannot produce President for eight years and still want to retain it for another eight years. It is not going to work.

“That is why under the Southern Governors’ Forum, where, luckily, God made me the chairman, we kept hammering on that. It must come to the South. And when it also got to our party in APC, we fought that it must come to the South.

“Luckily, it did not only come to South, it came to the South-West. Now, where do we stand? I understand our feelings because I’m one of you. I am a Christian. All of us here are worried. What will be our gain, and that, why is my party, the APC throwing up a Muslim/Muslim ticket.

“It has been a real issue for all of us. Even members of the party, it has been an issue for us. We have debated it, fought it and we have done so many things on it. I have always said to people, my fight was for Southern President.

“Now it has come to the South-West, will I now throw the baby away with the bathwater? Can I, in all honesty, do it? Should I, in all honesty, do it?

“We call it a matter of coincidence. It is a matter of conscience. All of us are here, why don’t we look at it from one angle. The buck stops on the table of the President. Do we have a capable hand who can manage the affairs if given the opportunity? Do you have a man who is bold enough to challenge incursion into our land? That is it.

“All of us here have lived together for years and we didn’t allow religion to bring fight among us. We have Muslims in our families and there is no fight. We have many leaders in Yoruba land who have both Muslims and Christians in their families and there is no fight.

“So, we want to appeal to our people that this is our time. I want to appeal to all our senior Pastors and General Overseers to help talk to their followers. We politicians can only do little. This is our time, please don’t be angry.”

Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress and his running mate Kashim Shettima are both Muslims from the South-West and North-East respectively.

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