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I Don’t Care If President, Vice, Senate President Are Same Religion – Soyinka

File photo: Wole Soyinka
| PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has said that he does not care if Nigeria’s next president, vice-president, Senate President and speaker of the House of Representatives are all from the same village and religion.

Soyinka, who spoke on Channels Television’s NewsNight, a pre-recorded interview, aired, said: “I don’t give a damn if the president, the vice-President, the speaker, etc. all come from the same village, they have the same religion, they belong to the same tribe.”

Soyinka was commenting on the controversy that has trailed the Muslim-Muslim All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket.

Professor Soyinka said there is no problem “if, however, it is transparently, absolutely, unarguable that is a kind of genius breed that has been donated to the nation and to the world. “As long as the capability of the individuals who are into governance is proven, and it is quite clear that there is no alternative, that is my position.”

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The 88-year-old playwright stressed that the same faith ticket won’t be a problem in a “normal society” and that Nigeria hasn’t attained such a “norm.”

“Now, we are talking about a society which is normal, which institutions are normal…Is Nigeria normal?” he asked.

According to him, the campaigners for a same-faith ticket should be “very sensitive to the very peculiar circumstances of Nigeria” and explore alternatives that have been working for the country.

Soyinka’s comments came months after APC presidential candidate and former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had announced ex-governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, as his running mate. Tinubu and Shettima are Muslims, a development that has continued to attract criticisms from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria; Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah amongst others.

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