More trouble for APC over Muslim-Muslim ticket

Posted by News Express | 14 July 2022 | 976 times

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•Tinubu, Shettim

 

The storm is still raging across the country, especially within the Christian community four days after the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, southern Muslim, unveiled Senator Kashim Shettima, northern Muslim, as his running mate and barely 24 hours to the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral (INEC) for parties to submit their final list of candidates for the 2023 general polls.

In separate statements, yesterday, the two leading umbrella bodies for Christians,  Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) rejected the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket being promoted by the ruling party.

Meanwhile, Daily Sun gathered that a crucial meeting of top Christian leaders and Christian politicians from the North has been scheduled to chisel out a decision. A source privy to the arrangement listed the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong; SGF, Boss Mustapha; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Lawal and other Christian political leaders, as arrowheads spearheading the meeting.

The source said if the leadership of the APC decides to submit Shettima’s name, they would be left with no choice, but to support other presidential candidates that will protect the interest of northern Christians.

He said the choice of a Muslim running mate, was the brainchild of Northern APC leaders, who insisted that it will be the only condition that will make them support Tinubu’s presidential ambition.

“APC took Christians in the North for granted. There are key Northern Christians who have incurred the anger of their people for supporting APC, yet, APC thinks no one is good among us to be Tinubu’s running mate. This is an insult. We’ve decided to meet and decide what’s best for us. There are over 10 million registered Northern Christian voters. They’ll use this strength to teach APC a lesson for undermining us. It is now obvious the APC is an Islamic party. One day, the same people promoting this will insist on North-North Muslim-Muslim ticket. If they succeed with this, they will try something more daring soon.”

 

This is as CAN President, Rev’d Supo Ayokunle, who spoke through his Media Assistant, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, said he would never encourage Christians to vote for it because it is discriminatory, unjust, unfair and unconstitutional.

 

“They made reference to the 1993 presidential election. They said the ‘Hope ‘93’ has been resurrected. Fantastic. What was the outcome of that election? It was annulled. The winner of that election, we know what became of him. We are not making a mockery of him, but to let them know that the history that wants to repeat itself is not in the interest of this country.

 

“In 1993 when people voted for Muslim-Muslim ticket, can you compare Nigeria of that time with Nigeria of today? Was there anybody called Boko Haram terrorist then? Was there anything called ISWAP in 1993? Was there anytime people were kidnapped with impunity? Was there anytime pastors could not drive on the road without being kidnapped? So, if people say what happened in 1993 would repeat itself, let it repeat itself. Those who fail to learn from history, they force history to repeat itself.

 

“Nigeria needs a president that will unify us, bring us together. Everybody should be carried along and be given a sense of belonging and inclusiveness. Look at the three arms of government today, they are headed by Muslims as if Christians are nobody. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is the vice chairman of the second arm of government, is a Muslim. They are now saying the first two in the executive arm too should be Muslims. The judiciary is also in their hands. If Nigerians vote for Muslim-Muslim ticket, and they get to power, whatever happens, they ask for it; CAN has said its own. The bottomline is that Nigerians should reject Muslim-Muslim ticket.”

 

•It portrays our country in bad light –PFN

 

Chairman, Kaduna State chapter of PFN, Apostle Emmanuel Bako, said fielding flag bearers with individuals from one faith has the potency to polarise the country at a  time citizens were searching for unity.

 

“Therefore, I declare the Muslim-Muslim ticket barbaric and unacceptable. We shall not let it stand because it showcases our great nation in bad light.

 

“The new trend of fielding party flag bearers with individuals from one faith is not consistent with our federal system. It has the potency to polarise our beloved nation at this crucial moment that all true citizens are searching for unity.

 

“I have noticed with great dismay the consistent disregard for our heterogeneous nature in Nigeria by our political players. This is done in the face of increasing weakness of the bond of unity. It is not only against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but against the plan of God. I see this as irresponsible decision and a disregard for our diversities. I wish to state that it is not acceptable.

 

“It is obvious that the decision is taken to cover up for the failure of government and to also spite other religions. Both Muslims and Christians are suffocating under the highest level of insecurity.

 

“This has further reduced our life expectancy in Nigeria. Apart from this, the religious fault lines in the past seven years has been widened. The responsibility of all political parties at this moment should be on strengthening national integration and not otherwise.

 

“I call on all peace-loving citizens to reject this evil pattern that is gradually getting entrenched. Let’s unite and build a society on the basis of respect for everyone’s humanity. I see 2023 as an opportunity to open up our nation to real political civilisation,” he said.

 

•Dead on arrival  –Ex SGF, Lawal

 

In his reaction, immediate-past Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) and Tinubu’s close ally, David Babachir Lawal, described the action as an affront on Christians, saying it isdead on arrival.

 

Lawal, in a lengthy statement he personally signed, called on the leadership of the APC and President Buhari, to reject a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

 

He further urged them not to forward Shettima’s name to INEC.

 

Lawal said: “Why Kashim Shetima? He is an overambitious man who has a Machiavellian bent and has lots of money with which to procure a preferred-candidate status among Tinubu’s lapdogs. And as we are beginning to see, to also procure bogus supporters, especially from among the Christian community, to help launder his not-so-good image.

 

“It appears that the gods want to destroy the APC and its presidential candidate and have chosen the instrumentality of the northern Moslem governors and their super ambitious tool and Kashim Shettima for this purpose. Alhaji Kashim Shetima is a Greek gift from the Northern governors to Tinubu. I advise Bola to make sure Kashim’s two hands are always in plain sight and empty.

 

“True, based on the advice of his new friends, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has made his choice. And I am sure he thinks he is ready for the outcome of that choice. He has chosen to bring religion to the front burner of Nigerian politics. And being a Muslim, he has chosen to take sides with his own religion. For all he cares, Christians can go to blazes with their votes.

 

“But he must also be told that there will consequences for this choice. Some of them are that Christians all over the country will revolt against the APC to put the chances of his election in serious jeopardy. It will also put the election of all Christians standing for elections in Christian-dominated areas in jeopardy. This could result in APC being a minority party in both the National and State Houses of Assembly.

 

“Now tell me which Christian will vote for APC with the following contraption: Moslem Presidential Candidate (Lagos), Moslem Vice Presidential Candidate (Borno), Moslem National Chairman (Nasarawa), Moslem Deputy National Chairman (Borno), Moslem President (Katsina); Moslem Senate President (Yobe); Moslem Speaker (Lagos); Moslem Deputy Speaker (Plateau) e.t.c. APC the great!

 

“It is a risk that will not play out positively for his presidential bid. But, were he to win and become President of Nigeria, it would be as a sectional president, an Islamic president, and he will surely face massive discontent and opposition even before taking off.

 

“But, barring any last-minute change of mind, Bola has made his choice. He should be bluntly told that in this choice, Nigerian Christians clearly see a pending Islamic Republic of Nigeria in its infancy and are right to be severely anxious. There has been gloom among the Christian community all over the country since Tinubu announced Kashim Shetima as his running mate. Are the generality of the Muslim ummah happy with this? The answer is a resounding no.

 

“President Muhammadu Buhari should exercise his powers as the Commander-in-Chief and as the APC Leader to revoke this nomination of a VP by Tinubu. The APC National Chairman should refuse to sign the nomination forms if not rescinded.

 

“I would love for Bola to be our next President. But I am afraid a Moslem-Moslem ticket will be “Dead on Arrival”. And the arrival date according to INEC’s election timetable is 25th February 2023. This ticket will drag down the whole APC members to the pit. We all should reject it.”

 

•Kumuyi cautions

 

Pastor William Kumuyi, General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, has urged Nigeria’s political leaders need to consult and conduct research before concluding.

 

The cleric, who gave the advice while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Ilorin, shortly after he paid courtesy to Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara, said that presidential flagbearers of various political parties should look at the heartbeat of Nigeria and the desires of people before making their decisions.

He said: “The Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket is a difficult and slippery area. So, what I will say is that the political office holders should look at the heartbeat of the country as well as desires of the people.

“Politicians should know that they are not there for themselves. They are there for all of us. They should ask and make their researches about what the nation wants. They should ask and make their researches on what the country wants, what the people want; if they listen to the people, we will be confident that they will listen to us when they get there.”(Daily Sun)

 


Source: News Express

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