The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has lashed out at the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, over the move by the APC Northern Christian leaders to work against the party’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.
The APC Northern Christian leaders led by Dogara and Lawal had announced after a meeting with the Northern Muslim Political Leaders in Abuja on Saturday that they have resolved to adopt one of the ruling party’s presidential candidates in a bid to defeat the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Reacting to the development via a statement issued on Monday by the spokesperson of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, the APC presidential candidate accused Dogara and Lawal of working for the presidential standard-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, noting that the former House of Reps Speaker had since left the APC “officially and unceremoniously”.
Tinubu stated that the ruling party was not surprised by the APC Northern Christian leaders’ meeting, saying those present at the meeting were “representing themselves, their selfish agenda, not Northern Christians”.
He described Dogara, who led the meeting, as “peripatetic and politically unstable politician”, adding: “Before then, the former Speaker had spearheaded a campaign of vitriol and hate against our party, using religion as camouflage, after he lost the vice-presidential candidacy to a better qualified Senator Kashim Shettima.
“A careful reading of the people who attended the unholy meeting he called also showed that they were all PDP members, masquerading as APC members.
“Among the politicians at the unholy consultative meeting were Mukhar Shagari, Boni Haruna, Abdulfattah Ahmed; Damishi Sango; Senator Idris Ahmed Umar; and two former deputy governors of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi and Simon Achuba. They are all PDP members working for the presidential ambition of Atiku Abubakar.
“We were not surprised by the resolutions adopted. Our surprise was that the media failed to read through their smokescreen.
“The APC PCC wondered how the assembly of strange bedfellows hoped to foster unity and cohesion in our country, when their candidate represents the antithesis of the goal, having emerged the greatest divider of our polity, between the north and south.
“All Nigerians are aware that Atiku’s emergence as the PDP presidential candidate grossly violated a power rotation code between the north and the south. His insistence on snatching and retaining what rightly belongs to another political region has triggered a crisis within his party, making him run from Port Harcourt to London to mend fences.
“We want to assure Dogara and his co-travellers fanning hate campaign against our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his running mate that they will fail spectacularly at the polls.
“From the engagements our leaders have had with men of all faiths, bigotry will not win next February election. What will prevail are the track records of our candidates and the solution-driven and all-inclusive progressive programmes the candidates offer Nigerians.
“Asiwaju Tinubu and Senator Shettima are going into this campaign with clear objectives to engage Nigerians across the socio-economic brackets on policy actions that will make their lives better. Our candidates will not exploit our country’s fault lines to win election and sell religion as Kool Aid,” the campaign council stated.
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