The social media has gone agog on the recent decision of the Apc on Muslim-Muslim Ticket
by Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima. This article will discuss the legal
implication of the decision. It is important to firstly discuss the constitutional requirements
for the post of President and the vice president. In this regard, Sections 131, 141 and 142 of
the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be examined. Sections 131 provides
A person shall be qualified for election to the office of Vice-President if:
(a) he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth;
(b) he has attained the age of forty years;
(c) he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party;and
(d) he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.
From the foregoing , the qualification for the post of the president does not include religion or
The office of the vice president is established in section 141 and the process of nomination in
Gleaning from the above, the candidates are both qualified to run for the post of president and
vice president in the forthcoming general election.
However the issue to be determined here is whether or not the decision of the party to choose
people of the same faith to run for the post of the president and the vice president is
The answer to the above question is in affirmative. Section 10 of the Constitution of the
federal Republic of Nigeria provides that the government of the Federation or of the state
shall not adopt any religion as state religion. This reemphasises the religious neutrality of
Another line of argument is that of Federal Character. It is pertinent to examine what Federal
Character is all about. Section 14(2) of the Constitution provides
(2) The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the
conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of
Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty,
thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a
few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.
However the above provision falls under chapter II of the constitution which is non
justiciable. And as a result no one can rely on the provision to invalidate the decision of the
In conclusion, from the community reading of section 10,14, 131, 141 and 142 of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the decision of the party is not wrong from
the legal perspective however it is morally wrong considering the diverse nature of the
country. All the ethnic and religious sects of the country need to be adequately represented
for all the citizens of Nigeria to have sense of belonging.