Following the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign council, some Christians in the party have called for total boycott, reiterating their rejection of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The Concerned Northern APC Christians Forum, in a press conference today in Abuja, insisted that the ruling party must jettison its current combination of Bola Tinubu and Kassim Shettima to get the support of Christians.
In his address, General Secretary, Lukas Bako, said the inauguration is a mere charade, describing the APC’s chances at the presidency as a failed mission.
According to him, under the present arrangement, the Christians would suffer untold persecution under an APC government in Nigeria.
Bako added that the Northern Christians stand with the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria, adding that the “Christians in the APC Presidential Campaign Council are betrayers who have sold their conscience in return for a plate of porridge”.
The group, therefore, urged the APC leadership to “do needful by replacing the APC vice Presidential Candidate with a Christian before the commencement of the campaigns”.
They, however, advised Christians in the APC coumcil to resign honourably in protest until the needful is done.
Bako further stated that the “APC must come to terms with the reality that Northern Christians were indeed notable stakeholders in the APC, and their contributions to the growth and development of the party over the years cannot be overemphasized.”
Read the full statement below:
We bring warm greetings to distinguished party men and women, who, despite their busy schedules, have come out to attend this press conference given the recent composition of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.
It is our firm position that the issue of Muslim-Muslim Ticket has been treated with kids’ gloves by the leadership of the APC. This, in our considered opinion, is a gross disregard for the religious configuration of the country and the need to ensure a balanced ticket that would address the concerns and reservations of the religious groups in the country.
It remains a hard pill to swallow for the country’s Christian community with the APC’s action in fielding a Muslim-Muslim Ticket for the 2023 presidential elections. We also find it worrisome that the APC has not deemed it necessary to address this genuine concern in the overarching objective of carrying all members of the APC family along in preparation for the 2023 presidential elections.
The Northern APC Christians Forum is concerned that the APC leadership’s lack of respect for the Christians in Northern Nigeria has reached an alarming crescendo, which could pass for a deliberate attempt to delineate the Christian population in Northern Nigeria.
Our concern also stems from the fact that the action of the APC can breed distrust amongst the religious groupings in the country. It must be stated that with the Muslim-Muslim Ticket, the Northern Christians have been marginalized and without recourse to the implication of such actions in the overall psyche of the people.
The Concerned Northern APC Christians Forum is using this medium to reiterate that Northern Christians won’t support the APC Presidential ticket unless the leadership of the APC addresses its concerns.
We also stand with the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria that the Christians in the APC Presidential Campaign Council are betrayers who have sold their conscience in return for a plate of porridge, which is a slap on the Body of Christ in Nigeria.
It is more worrisome that they have carried on recklessly as if there are no credible northern Christians suitable enough to be a vice presidential candidate. This is unacceptable and indicates that under the present arrangement, the Christians would suffer untold persecution under an APC government in Nigeria.
The Concerned Northern APC Christians Forum is demanding unequivocally that the Presidential Candidate and the APC leadership should do the needful by replacing the APC vice Presidential Candidate with a Christian before the commencement of the campaigns.
We are also urging all the Christians in the APC Presidential Campaign Council to resign their campaign council membership in protest until the needful is done. The APC must come to terms with the reality that Northern Christians were indeed notable stakeholders in the APC, and their contributions to the growth and development of the party over the years cannot be overemphasized.
What is good for the goose should be good for the gander, and this much the Northern Christians in the APC are demanding, which in all intent and purposes is not too much to ask in the overarching objective of entrenching equity and fairness.
The APC leadership must desist from treating Northern Christians as inconsequential in the country’s scheme of affairs, hence the choice of the Muslim-Muslim Ticket. The danger of such misgiving could ignite a religious crisis in the country, hence the need for caution from the leadership of the APC.
The Concerned Northern APC Christians Forum is stating unequivocally that Christians will not support the APC Presidential Team until the Muslim – Muslim Ticket issue is resolved holistically.
We trust that the APC Presidential Candidate would see reason with the demands from Northern Christians and consequently do the needful in furtherance of his message of uniting Nigerians.