The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has told Nigerians to vote for the next president of the country at the 2023 polls based on competence and integrity, and not based on religion.
Headline News reports that the governor, who was reported to have said this at the 16th Jesus Festival Dinner of the Ibadan Anglican Diocese held at the Ibadan Civic Centre, Agodi, Ibadan, noted that past records of candidates in the forthcoming presidential election should be the basis for Nigerians to judge who has the capability to lead Nigeria next year.
According to him, it was time for power to shift for the south to produce a president “in the spirit of equity and fairness,” for peace to reign.
Akeredolu advanced that on that premise, Nigerians should stop the debate on the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC because that is not important, instead, they should maintain the debate on equity and justice to allow peace to reign.
The governor, who was reported to be the Chairman of the occasion said “competence and integrity should be the criteria for representation,” and not based on faith.
He said, “As Christians, we must not only be prayerful, it is important that we adopt proactive measures in our bid to protect ourselves against any evil design. We must be vigilant and ready to challenge all actions which threaten to relegate our collective interest to the background.
“In the same vein, we must be wary of the antics of the cunning and deceitful who may wish to exploit the challenges to advance their destructive designs.
“In as much as we encourage full participation of Christians in politics, our involvement must not be used to create disaffection among the various ethnic and religious groups in the country. We must resist the attempts by some elements to use religion to perpetuate the crisis.
“Christians are yet to come together to elect representatives who must vie for political offices. Any individual aspiring to serve in any capacity should project his or her strength of character rather than hide under an omnibus but clearly dubious forum to appropriate our collective rights for personal consideration.
“The recent debate on representation on account of faith is most unnecessary. Competence and integrity should be the criteria for representation.
“All those who do not wish to be ruled by persons of dubious character should endeavour to be active in the days ahead. Let all those with their PVCs vote for candidates of their choice. All candidates should be put to the strictest proof of their claims.
“Anyone who exhibits any shred of doubt should be rejected roundly. The antecedents of prominent candidates in the forthcoming presidential elections, and even all elections, should be evidence of capacity. The manifesto belongs, largely, to the party,’’ Akeredolu submitted.