Publish date: 2022-07-13 01:46:15 | Author: Our Reporters | Source: punchng.com
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, has described as “disastrous error”, the decision of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to pick Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Lawal waded into the controversy that has been trailing the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket in a statement made available to The PUNCH on Tuesday.
Lawal said he saw the decision coming and he had made his reservations known to the proponents long before the announcement was made.
He said he suspected that Tinubu is currently surrounded by sycophants who will lie to him and malign others to curry his favour.
“The result is that they have played on his long-term ambition to be President and have built it into a sort of desperation and a crescendo that easily justifies this satanic resort to a Muslim-Muslim ticket. This is the calamity that has befallen my friend,” Lawal declared.
He added, “It appears that the gods want to destroy the APC and its presidential candidate and have chosen the instrumentality of the northern Muslim governors and their super ambitious tool and Kashim Ibrahim for this purpose.
“Alhaji Kashim Shettima is a Greek gift from the Northern governors to Tinubu. I advise Bola to make sure Kashima’s two hands are always in his plain sight and empty.”
He warned Tinubu that there would be consequences for his decision, adding that some of them are that Christians will revolt against the APC to put the chances of his election in serious jeopardy.
“Now tell me which Christian will vote for the APC with the following contraption: Muslim presidential candidate (Lagos), Muslim vice presidential candidate (Borno), Muslim National Chairman (Nasarawa), Muslim Deputy National Chairman (Borno), Muslim President (Katsina); Muslim Senate President (Yobe); Muslim Speaker (Lagos); Muslim Deputy Speaker (Plateau) e.t.c.,” he added.
Party chiefs resign
Some party chiefs have already started resigning over the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
In Rivers State, a former governorship candidate of the party, Tonye Princewill, dumped the party, citing the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
His resignation was contained in a letter he addressed to the Chairman of the APC in his ward (3) Tahhed Royal Ward in Buguma, Asar Toru Loval Government Area of Rivers State dated July 12, 2022.
“I cannot defend the decision of my party in fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket, especially at a time like this, against all protestations from well-meaning Nigerians, across religious and political divides,” he wrote.
In Delta State, another party chief, Air Vice Marshal Frank Ajobena (retd.), also dumped the party, citing the same reason.
“The decision (Muslim-Muslim ticket) could be described as one that smacks of arrogance and a total disrespect to us Christians in APC,” Ajobena said.
Also, a coalition of Christians of Northern extraction in the partyhas warned against the ticket.
The organisation which comprised Christian politicians in the 19 Northern States within the APC, said they would not go against their consciences and faith to campaign for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The organisation made its position known in a communiqué issued on Tuesday in Abuja. It was signed by their chairman, Prof. Doknan Sheni; and Secretary, General Ishaya Bauka.
Meanwhile, Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, has backed the decision which, he said, would facilitate the party’s smooth sailing to victory in the presidential elections.
His position was contained in a statement the Director-General, Press Affairs, Government House, Ismaila Misilli.
Also, the Tinubu Mandate Group, Ondo and Ekiti States chapters have said there was nothing wrong with Muslim-Muslim ticket.The Coordinator the group, Pastor Olufemi Bakare, who spoke with our correspondent, at the meeting of the group, in Akure, the state capital, on Tuesday, said the APC presidential candidate would always be fair to all religions in the country.