Ahead of the election of the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, the Coalition of Middle Belt Youths Leaders has urged the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, to allow lawmakers-elect to choose their presiding officers without interference.
Shettima was recently quoted as saying that the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives cannot be of the same faith because it would fuel the perception of Islamisation agenda in the country.
“What we are trying to avoid is a situation whereby the number of one citizen, number two citizen, the number three citizen, and the number four citizens are all of the same faith. That will lend credence and validate the negative narratives of the Islamisation agenda of Nigeria,” he had said.
But, reacting during a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, leader of the coalition, Dr. Nasiru Jagaba and secretary, Dr Gugu Filibus Musa described Shettima’s comment as a “cunning way to attempt to hoodwink the elected lawmakers into accepting the zoning arrangement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the leadership of the 10th national assembly.”
He said: “The country has moved on from the same faith ticket and we do not need this now and we believe that the best way Sen. Kashim Shettima can show that he is sensitive to the stability of this country and his sudden advocacy for Christianity is to humbly step down for a Christian Vice President as it is still not too late.
“Election of the leadership of the National Assembly has never been about religion/faith, so, we employ Kashim Shettima and his core travelers to desist forthwith from the unhealthy incitement and allow elected lawmakers to choose their leaders.
“Shettima should note that he holds no moral justification to give that counsel even if it were to be the best counsel. Nigeria and Nigerians are calm and okay with how the elected members of the 10th National Assembly are going on with their activities ahead of the elections of her leaders in accordance with the constitutional provisions and extant laws thereto.”
He admonished elected lawmakers not to let themselves be deceived by ‘Shettima’s Machiavellian’ moves.
“They should elect leaders that defend the interest of the majority of Nigerians, irrespective of their faith or ethnicity. They should know that Nigerians have great expectations and goodwill for them and that we support whatever they decide by themselves hence, they should guide and guard themselves from the voices that they take counsel from,” he said.