A founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has said that the concern about another Muslim succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 is a matter to be decided by Nigerians and not the constitution.
This is as the elder statesman advised Nigerians pressing for constitutional amendments to channel their demands through the appropriate channels. Speaking in an exclusive chat with New Telegraph, the elder statesman and human rights activist, said, rather than focusing attention on the executive, agitations for constitutional amendment should be taken to the law-makers, who are constitutionally empowered to do so.
Yakassai, a former presidential Liaison Officer in the second republic regime of Alhaji Sheu Shagari, added that the President of the republic has no role to play in effecting an amendment of the constitution; safe for appending his signature to turn Bills into Laws, which he emphasised is the last stage of the process.
He stated that that there is nothing wrong in the emergence of Bola Tinubu of the APC and Atiku Abubakar, for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as, according to him, there is nothing in the constitution that forbids a Muslim sitting President from handling over to a Muslim successor. Stressing that the Nigerian electorate has the final say on who succeeded as president of the country. He added: “The final decision rests with the Nigerian electorate.
This is the process; the constitution provides for the formation of political parties and it provides for those political parties to have their constitution. “The political Party’s constitution in the country provides for members, Christian or Muslim to vie for any political office.
‘The process has been going on and we are now at the apex of the process, which is the election of the president. It is up to the members of the political Parties to nominate whoever they deem competent to be the president of Nigeria. “No provision of the constitution says you can not be the president of Nigeria because you are Christian or a Muslim.
The decision lies with the electorates.” The nonagenarian said, Nigerians, having missed the opportunity in the past, can still tender their suggestions and observations through their Representatives in the National and the various States’ assemblies – after the 2023 general elections.