Northern Christian block of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by Babachir Lawal and former House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, has declared support for Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
The members led by former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, have repeatedly expressed their grievances over the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC.
In a statement title; “Why we have chosen to endorse the Obi/Datti ticket”, signed by Babachir Lawal, the Northern APC Christians group said the decision to declare their support for Obi-Datti ticket was after a painstaking analysis of the alternative tickets.
The group urged its members to support Peter Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed Datti in the 2023 presidential election.
Both Dogara and Lawal have at different fora, criticised the choice of two persons of the same faith in the APC presidential ticket for the 2023 election.
Lawal in the statement, dispelled the rumour that he had joined the PDP. According to him, PDP and APC “are different sides of the same coin.”
He decribed the APC ticket as a “satanic plan” intended to sow seeds of religious and social discord among Nigerians.
“The APC same-faith is a deliberate, well-calculated plan to sow the seeds of religious and social discord among Nigerians. It is obvious that Northerners, in particular, are the intended targets and victims of this satanic plan,” part of the statement read.
Lawal noted that the entire north has been ravaged by insecurity and other socio-economic problems due to the activities of several criminal groups, and there is no solution yet in sight.
He asserted that the duo of Tinubu and Shettima have past antecedents which show that they have no capacity to unite the country and meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens no matter their ethnic or religious affiliation.
“Surely, APC’s same-faith ticket is intended to shame Christians and bestow on them and their religion, a second-class socio-political status in their own country. In particular it is a validation of the discrimination and oppression being meted out on Northern Nigerian Christians where they are now denied employment, promotion, contracts, and admission to read prestigious and marketable courses in government-owned schools simply on account of their religion.
“It is no wonder then that Alhaji Bola Tinubu thinks that the Bible is a book of jokes from which he can freely construct his “jokes” like his “Poisoned Holly Communion” and “Speaking in Tongues” jokes. If he is man enough, I challenge him to ridicule the Holy Quran even once as he freely does the Holy Bible. This guy has no respect for Christians and Christianity at all.”
He further stated that the APC same-faith ticket goes against the Nigerian political principle which always seeks to “achieve a religious balance in its politics and governance.”
“It is worth noting that all the other seventeen political parties fielding presidential candidates have gone the way of established conventions and practices by fielding different-faith tickets. Truly except for its incitement to social disharmony, there is no sense at all in APC’s same faith ticket.”
The former SGF further explained that the group’s choice of Obi-Datti ticket is in furtherance of its quest for justice and equity in the socio-political and religious space of the country. According to him, the “Obi/Datti ticket has the potential of speaking to the genuine clamour for power shift to the South-East and at the same time speak to the cry of marginalization by our people of the South-East.
“Obviously, a Christian/Muslim presidency like the Obi/Datti one will be most appropriate at this stage of our political journey more so since we are now transiting from a Muslim/Christian presidency. It will also achieve the regional shift of the presidency from the current NW/SW to a SE/NW presidency as popularly being canvassed. This is justice; this is equity. This is political engineering at its best and one that engineers peace and harmonious co-existence of the various socio-political and religious classes of our nation.”
He also warned Nigerians to resist the temptation of voting into power, the set of leaders who only recycle themselves, children and cronies to the exclusion of other segments of society.
“This trend has resulted in these disastrous consequences in which we now find ourselves – impoverished, unsecured, divided, severely underdeveloped and massively unemployed with a widening gulf between the rich and poor of the society.”
“A government of either APC or PDP will only be a recycling of the same class of people who have been running and ruining the country from independence to date. Is it any wonder that Nigeria has remained static?
“The Obi/Datti will give us breath of fresh air and the greatest opportunity to redeem our country from the quagmire into which we have been plunged by a recurring group of self-centred reactionaries.”
He urged Nigerians to be wary of divisive and deceptive political rhetorics and strategies adopted by different political parties to trick them into accepting their candidates, as they have intentions far from common good of the entire nation.
“Men of good conscience should therefore look to opportunities that unite rather than divide us. Only the Labour Party presents this opportunity.
“We therefore call on all patriots to labor for our country in this presidential election. Nigeria’s future is at stake in this presidential election. Obi-Datti is the only way to go. All other ways lead to perdition,” statement concluded.