Northern APC Christian leaders have endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labor Party (LP), Peter Obi.
The group, which has openly opposed the same religious candidacy as Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, issued a statement on Thursday announcing Obi as its candidate.
The group, in statements by the former Secretary General of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, denied endorsing the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
Mr. Lawal stated that both APC and PDP are more or less the same.
Thus, he highlighted seven reasons why the group decided to endorse the former governor of Anambra State for the 2023 general election.
He said, among other things, that an APC or PDP government will only be a recycling of the same class of people who have been running and ruining the country since independence to date, so it has remained static.
“The Obi/Datti will give us a breath of fresh air and the greatest opportunity to redeem our country from the quagmire we have been plunged into by a recurring group of self-centered reactionaries,” the statement said.
Lawal and other northern APC leaders endorsed Tinubu during the APC primary, but reversed course when he chose Shettima, a Muslim and former governor of Borno state, as his running mate.
Former House Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Adamawa State Senator Elisha Abbo, also Christians, have been outspoken critics of the same ticket of faith.
Mr. Tinubu has argued that the election of the former Governor of Borno State is based solely on competition and not on religious persuasion.
The full statement
WHY WE HAVE CHOSEN TO ENDORSE THE OBI/DATTI TICKET
As one of the leading critics of APC’s unife presidential bid, and also unlike those who patiently awaited our guidance on where to set up shop, after careful review and analysis of alternative presidential bids, we now wish to recommend the presidential bid of Obi/Datti.
We wish to briefly narrate some of the reasons among many why we have endorsed this ticket and recommend it to all Nigerians of good conscience who want justice, equity and harmonious coexistence of all Nigerians across all tribes, religions and geopolitical regions.
Beyond that, the fake news is currently circulating that I have thrown in the towel with the PDP. Could not be farther from the truth. For me, the PDP and the APC are different sides of the same coin.
1 The same-faith APC is a deliberate and 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. It is an indisputable fact that the entire Northern Nigeria is currently mired in various intractable socio-economic problems due to the activities of various nebulous criminal groups. Agriculture, the mainstay of the northern economy, is virtually abandoned as kidnappers and bandits have prevented people from venturing outside the safety of their homes. Interstate and intercity travel, whether for business or pleasure, has come to a complete halt, not only due to impassable roads, but even more so due to fears of kidnapping, armed robbery, and other forms of banditry. Our rural schools have almost closed for fear of kidnappers. State universities have closed, thus depriving the children of the already impoverished masses of the north of access to affordable higher education. Thus, our unschooled and idle children have become easy targets for the recruitment of bandits and kidnappers. And there is no solution in sight.
Then, out of the blue, this man Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a renowned Yoruba hegemonist, a man who advocated the establishment of a Ministry of Regional Integration in every state government of the geopolitical region of the south-west that he dominates like an emperor, and a man who he was once quoted as saying “I don’t believe in a Nigeria” (THISDAY, The Sunday Newspaper, April 13, 1997, pg 9) pitches a Muslim-Muslim ticket knowing full well that religion is the underbelly of Northern Nigeria. APC’s same faith ticket is a ploy to further sow discord among Northerners using the most potent weapon of social discord: religion. As Karl Max once said: “Religion is the opium of the people.” Nigerians of all shades of society should view this same-faith Tinubu/Kashim ticket as a proposition from the pit of hell that can only be conjured up by the most Machiavellian minds known to man and must therefore be rejected by all lovers of our country. and his nascent democracy.
On the other hand, Alhaji Kashim Shetima, Tinubu’s vice-presidential running mate, is a man who once said “by restructuring my foot, let us restructure our minds”. For eight years he presided over Borno State at a time when Boko Haram invaded the state almost at will and reshaped the minds of its victims against Christianity and Western education. Kidnapped Chibok and Dapchi girls and many more are now slowly coming out of captivity in Boko Haram indoctrination camps, fully Islamized and holding children born into Islam in captivity, a true example of “mind restructuring” if ever there was one. . There is also this little matter of an accusation of a very close relationship or not between the APC vice-presidential candidate and Boko Haram! And what Christian can forget Kabiru Sokoto, the alleged Boko Haram kingpin accused of complicity in the Christmas bombing of St Theresa Catholic Church, Madallah, which left 44 dead and 77 injured Christian worshipers? Or that said Kabiru Sokoto was eventually arrested at his hideout at the Borno State Government Lodge in Abuja? Isn’t it justifiable for Christians to be afraid of a government run by this duo?
2. No doubt APC’s same faith ticket is intended to shame Christians and give 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 brought to bear on Christians in Northern Nigeria, where they are now denied employment, promotion, contracts, and admission to read prestigious and marketable courses in government-owned schools. simply because of their religion. No wonder then that Alhaji Bola Tinubu thinks of the Bible as a book of jokes from which he can freely construct “jokes” about him 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 ridicules the Holy Bible. This guy has absolutely no respect for Christians and Christianity at all.
3 This APC ticket goes against Nigerian policy which in practice (if not in law) has always sought to achieve a religious balance in its politics and government. It is worth noting that the other seventeen political parties that field presidential candidates have followed the path of established conventions and practices when fielding candidacies from different faiths. Truly, except for its incitement to social disharmony, there is no point at all to APC’s same-faith ticket.
Furthermore, in our search for justice and equity in the sociopolitical and religious space of the country, it is obvious that only the Obi/Datti candidacy has the potential to speak of the genuine clamor for the shift of power to the southeast and at the same time speak the cry of marginalization of our people from the South-East. Obviously, a Christian/Muslim presidency like Obi/Datti’s will be most appropriate at this stage of our political journey, even more so since we are now transitioning from a Muslim/Christian presidency. It will also achieve the regional shift from the current NW/SW presidency to a SE/NW presidency as popularly requested. This is justice; this is equity. This is political engineering at its finest and one that engineers the peace and harmonious coexistence of our nation’s various sociopolitical and religious classes.
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5 Nigerians must also resist the temptation to be ruled by the same group of courtiers who recycle themselves, their children and their friends in a monarchical fashion, in and out of government, to the exclusion of other segments of society. This trend has resulted in these disastrous consequences in which we now find ourselves: impoverished, insecure, divided, severely underdeveloped and massively unemployed with a widening gap between the rich and poor in society. A keen observer won’t realize that APC is an Action Group/UPN transmutation that is dominated by the sons or grandsons of those who once ran and ruined the Action Group, while the PDP is an NPC/NPN transmutation equally. dominated by the children or grandchildren of the people who once ran and ruined the NPC. An APC or PDP government will only be a recycling of the same class of people who have been running and ruining the country since independence to date. Is it any wonder that Nigeria has remained static?
The Obi/Datti will give us a breath of fresh air and the greatest opportunity to redeem our country from the quagmire we have been plunged into by a recurring group of self-centered reactionaries.
6 There is also this palpable fear and anxiety about a possible transition of the current presidency from one Fulbe to another: same tribe, same religion, same region, same courtiers. This has given rise to further fear of a possible perpetuation of a Fulbe hegemony in the country. Furthermore, many Nigerians have the perception that the Fulbe are the main players in the banditry and kidnappings that currently plague the country. Thus, there is a widespread perception that another Fulbe-led government will not have the political inclination or will to address the country’s security challenges, as most of the perpetrators are his relatives.
There is also a perception that the current government’s appointments are driven more by ethnic and religious cronyism than by nationalist considerations. This has given rise to fears of a possible perpetuation of this trend by another Fulbe-led government. Both APC and PDP present us with these horrible options. The Obi/Datti ticket has great potential to steer us away from these problems.
7 Finally, as political campaigns move towards election dates, the tendency to divide the country into regional, tribal and religious affiliations gradually begins to manifest. We can see very clearly that the APC, having miserably failed in its original plan to instigate a form of jihad which it had sought through its same-faith ticket to capture Muslim votes, has now resorted to a tribal charter. The Battle Cry is now the “it’s our turn” tribal card in the Southwest. The PDP, on the other hand, seeing new opportunities in the APC’s failed jihadist strategy, tends to adapt both the APC’s religious and ethnic strategies in the North.
Nigerians should be aware of these very dangerous campaign trends because any political party that comes to government pandering to ethnic or religious sentiments may not be able to govern successfully and could further accentuate social divisions.
Therefore, men of good conscience should look for opportunities that unite us instead of dividing us. Only the Labor Party presents this opportunity. Therefore, we call on all patriots to work for our country in this presidential election. The future of Nigeria is at stake in this presidential election. Obi-Datti is the only way to go. All other paths lead to destruction.