2023: Muslims, Christians must unite, vote out bad leaders – Alhaji Bashir Tofa


A former candidate of the National Republican Convention in the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Bashir Tofa, on Friday, called on Nigerians to vote out bad leaders and “elect the right people.”

He also emphasised the need for Muslims to be united for them to bring about change together, warning that if they remained disunited and antagonistic to one another, Nigeria would not achieve anything.

Tofa said, “We have polluted ambitions; you know the ordinary Nigerians want to live their lives quietly and pursue their daily bread. But politicians and elites are the problems of the country. We have to realise that and do something about it. Next time (2023), elect the right people.”

The former NRC candidate spoke in an interview with journalists during the opening ceremony of a two-day symposium in Abuja with the theme ‘Threat to the unity of the Ummah and the future of Nigeria, citizenship and nationhood.’

 Tofa said, “Muslims must be united and so Christians must also unite. If the Muslims and Christians unite, then they can bring about change together. If we remain disunited and antagonistic to one another, we are not going to achieve anything.

“We have to realise that our religions have taught us unity, peace and progress and as Nigerians, that should be our foremost priority. We have to live together in peace, harmony and as brothers and sisters.

“We have to respect each other’s religion and even help in any way we can and that is the way we can form a country which can graduate into a nation. The more we stay as we are and begin to degenerate, the more problems we will have in our country.”

He advocated that issues of religion and ethnicity should be in the background, while the main focus should be on how Nigerians could manage their lives, unity and progress.

The event was organised by the Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria, in collaboration with Jama’atu Nasril Islam and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.

During the event, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, warned that the ongoing insecurity and bad governance would affect the existence of Nigeria.

According to him, the onslaught in the South-East, banditry in the North and agitation for Oduduwa Republic in the South-West should be a wake-up call for the government to rise to its responsibilities.

Baba-Ahmed, who is a former permanent secretary and spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum, in a lead paper he presented titled ‘The Nigerian federation and the management of our diversity: A critical evaluation,’ said the electorate should be prepared to weed out corrupt politicians.

He suggested that a new constitution be provided that would capture “the plural nature of the country and design a federation with national identity and unity at the national level and diversity at the unit level.”

The Vice President of SCSN, Sheikh Abdulrasheed Hadiyyatullah, regretted the spate of bloodletting and destruction of public assets in the South-East but promised that the organisation would strive to evangelise the gospel of peaceful coexistence.

“The present disturbing development of the series of reckless attacks on national assets and targeted communities (especially those of Hausa-Fulani extractions) in the southern part of the country, is dragging an already sick nation into another disastrous and dangerous locus,” he said.

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