From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Northern based religious group under the umbrella of Arewa Coalition for Good Governance has said the hardline positions of former Secretary to the Federal Government; Mr. Lawal Babachir, former House of Representatives Speaker, Hon.Lawal Dogara and Adamawa Lawmaker, Senator Ishaku Abbo over issue of the All Progressives Congress, APC’s choice of Muslim-Muslim ticket are based on selfish interest.
According to the group, their anger is premised on the fact that none of them was picked as running mate and not on issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket as it was being projected .
“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”, the group posited .
In a press statement signed by the Leader of the Coalition of Christian groups for Good Governance, Elder Peter Sati Auta, the group held the view that, ” Nigerians , especially the Electorate are wise enough to know that whipping religious sentiments 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 .
While stating that Holy Bible gave Christians the mandate to pray for leaders, it noted “anything out of this is not only unhealthy ,but retrogressive”.
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 to finding solutions to plethora of above mentioned problems that over the past 20 years have served as cog in the wheel of progress.”
While noting in the statement that Babachir and Dogara could be the ones working to overheat the polity and destroy same party that gave them platform of political relevance, stressing it is mere selfish interest of the spent forces ,which should be rejected outrightly “.
The statement further reads : “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 won’t work .
“It is in public domain that Tinubu and Shettima helped good numbers of Christians during their days as Governors of Lagos and Borno States respectively.
“Where were they,when the heavy campaign of calumny of bieng 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.
The group also asked, ” When Babachir and Dogara held public offices ,at what point did they speak or work for Christians ?
Reacting to what it described as “Senator Abbo’s outburst on the Muslim-Muslim ticket problem, it simply said, “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.
“The most important thing for Nigerians now is to come out during the elections and vote good leaders based on merit ; experience and records of performance”. The statement added.