By Habeeb Mu’azu
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has received a critical support from Islamic clerics in the core northern states of Sokoto and Kano ahead of the crucial All Progressive Congress (APC), presidential primary.
Osinbajo is one of the 23 aspirants on the platform of the ruling party vying to fly the flag of the party in the 2023 presidential election.
However, he has former Lagos state governor and a formidable politician, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Former Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and others to contend with at the primaries.
While the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) already chosen former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, many would be looking towards a similarly formidable candidate for the APC.
In Sokoto, Prof. Sani Sagir of Physics Department in Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, described leadership as a “responsibility that requires able person who is healthy, physically fit, intelligent and experience.”
Sagir, who is the Chief Imam of Maikilishi Jumaat Mosque in Sokoto and also the National Vice President 1, Jama’atu Izalatul Bid’a wa Iqamatul Sunna, stressed the need for mature mind in place of leadership.
“I pity those who are coming out to contest at this crucial situation of Nigeria. Leadership is very hard task, especially in Nigeria, because of insecurity, economic instability and lack of unity.
“Nigeria needs a very good leader with experience, good political will, someone that means well for the country, not someone that will steal public funds.
“A person that will do the right thing, not minding what people will say, as far as it is right and acceptable decision, because as a leader, you need to be courageous in doing the right thing always.
“These are the kind of leaders we want at the moment. Now if you look at President Muhammad Buhari, he immensely tried in various sectors, however, because of age, so many things are needed,” he said.
The respected cleric and academician said the vice president has shown competence and leadership in helping the President Buhari achieve all that he has done in various sectors of the economy.
Also speaking, Malam Abdulmalik Bello-Gado, described Osinbajo as a loyal and dedicated Vice President, with qualifications Nigerians need in view of his experience.
Bello-Gado, a Deputy Imam of Gagi community, urged Nigerians to vote with their conscience and steer clear from money politics.
In Kano, Sheikh Bilal Jabir-Elkanawy called on Nigerians to ensure transparency and fairness at the electioneering, while delegates should vote for the most credible candidates at the primaries.
Jabir-Elkanawiy said, “Selling votes against their conscience to the highest bidders or moneybags is dangerous, and it is against Islam.
“The credibility of representatives in government starts with pre-election activities that herald the general election.
“Nigerians need to choose a credible candidate, if political parties fail to choose credible candidates from the primaries, for the masses to make their choices during the general election in 2023.
“I want to urge all delegates and Nigerians to vote wisely, because of their children, their relatives and for the interest of our great nation, Nigeria,” he said.
The cleric described Vice President Yemi Osinbajo “as a leader whose excellence in academics covers most disciplines and relevant to modern development, to tackle the challenges of the nation.”
According to him, people have not witnessed any quarrels or serious misunderstanding with his principal and he is attested to be loyal.
“His vastness in understanding the diverse challenges and how to nip them in the bud for a unified Nigeria, through his knowledge on law and humanitarian act was sacrosanct to Nigeria.
“We need to also eliminate vote buying completely from our elections, which is abhorred by the religion.
“I urge the delegates and electorate to shine their eyes and not vote the wrong candidates, because of money,” Jabir-Elkanawiy said.