Christian groups in the North under the aegis of the Arewa Coalition for Good Governance have described those against the All Progressives Congress (APC) Muslim-Muslim ticket as selfish.
Recall that a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, had kicked against the decision of the ruling party to field the same faith ticket.
They also vowed to mobilise northern Christian electorates to vote against the candidate of the ruling party in the 2023 election, Bola Tinubu, over his decision to choose a Muslim as his running mate.
In a statement signed by its leader, Peter Sati Auta, the coalition said Lawal, Dogara and others are angry because Tinubu did not pick any of them as his running mate.
Auta claimed that their anger over the Muslim-Muslim ticket was based on selfish interest and in the interest of the Christian community as projected.
He accused the former SGF and others against the APC ticket of causing a religious crack in the polity ahead of the 2023 elections.
The statement reads: “At a time when all critical stakeholders of APC are supposed to be working for unity and progress of the party during the forthcoming 2023 general elections, they have decided to deploy religious sentiments as a weapon of war to discourage Christians from Tinubu/Shettima.
”Nigerians, especially the electorate are wise enough to know that whipping religious sentiment against any candidate is not the solution to the challenges of insecurity; dwindling economy, Insurgency, high unemployment rate, bad governance and other problems militating against progress and development of Nigeria.
“This amongst several reasons is why as Christian leaders in various churches, we decided to come out and speak against the divisive move by our brothers to create a religious crack in the polity ahead of the 2023 elections.”
“Instead of holding nocturnal meetings to fight the issue of Muslim -Muslim Ticket, we expected them to spend energy on talking about how to contribute their quota in finding solutions to a plethora of above-mentioned problems that over the past twenty years have served as a cog in the wheel of progress.”
“Babachir and Dogara could be the ones working to overheat the polity and destroy same party that gave them platform of political relevance. We hold the view that this is nothing but the mere selfish interest of the spent forces, which should be rejected outrightly.“
The coalition stated that Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima are not religious bigots, asking Lawal and his supporters to stop whipping religious sentiments.
“Everyone knows that both former Lagos State Governor,Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and former Borno Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima are not religious bigots, so the earlier they know that the idea of whipping religious sentiments against then won’t work.”
“It is in the public domain that Tinubu and Shettima helped a good number of Christians during their days as Governors of Lagos and Borno. Where were they, when the heavy campaign of calumny of being a “religious bigot” was muted against Buhari? Of course, some of them supported him to win and were later compensated with appointments. Even with all the unprintable names, Buhari was called, yet they worked for him.”
“We are urging Christians to shun Babachir ,Dogara and Senator Abbo’s divisive strategies and vote candidates of their choice regardless of religion and tribal backgrounds most important thing for Nigerians now is to come out during the election and vote good leaders based on merit ; experience and records of performance.”