The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said Nigerians are not assessing those aspiring to rule the country based on their capacities and competence but evaluating them on religious and ethnic backgrounds.
He said this on Thursday while receiving members of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, at his office in Ibadan.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, said the NIREC meeting was coming at the right time, particularly as the general election drew near.
Makinde said, “What you stand for is what Nigeria needs, especially at this time that election is approaching. I know that conversation will take both ethnic and religious colourations. That is why we have been hearing of Muslim-Christian ticket, Muslim-Muslim ticket and all of that.
“Before the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, we were looking at where the presidential candidate would emerge from – maybe from the South, East, West or North or somewhere in the middle. And even after the emergence of the candidates, discussions have centred on the support for either the candidate from the Yoruba or whether the Northerners will support their own candidate.
“So, we need people like you to speak out in order to douse the tension and nudge the nation in a direction of progress. Well, so far, we are not evaluating the candidates on what they can offer the country.”