A youth group, Progressive Youths of Nigeria (PYN), has said that the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to foist an all-Muslim leadership on the House of Representatives and by extension, Nigeria, by insisting on backing Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila for the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives, might be an invitation to crisis.
The group, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leadership of the APC to correct the perceived religious imbalance in the leadership composition in the country by supporting the only Christian candidate from the South-West where the post has been zoned, Honourable Jide Olatubosun, with Hon. Umar Bago, a Muslim, as his deputy.
This was as the youth group advised the members-elect in the House of Representatives to be guided by patriotism rather than party loyalty, by electing a speaker whose emergence will not only ensure religious balance but also clear the doubt that the next National Assembly leadership will be a rubber stamp.
According to the group, in a statement signed by its national Public Relations Officer, Adekanmbi Julius, the composition of the leadership structure of the country, where the president is a Muslim, the Chief Justice of Nigeria is a Muslim, the would-be Senate president is a Muslim and if the decision of the party to support Gbajabiamila sails through, the speaker and his deputy would be Muslims, cannot be said to be in the interest of peace and harmony in the country.
The group said the composition could allow views that plans were afoot to Islamise the country to gain popularity in some quarters, calling on the president and the APC leadership to shelve the idea of imposing a leadership that has “a tendency to add salt to injury and confirm the suspicion of the domination by a particular religion.”
“In order to bridge the gap already created in the leadership composition of this administration, the adoption of Olatubosun, a candidate whose conscience is clear and cannot be blinded absolute loyalty to any leader, will be the best option.
“This arrangement will foster unity across board and reduce the tension of insensitivity to issues of national importance,” the group said.