Champion Newspapers Limited
For a better society

Babachir Lawal, other Northern Christian Leaders in APC endorse Peter Obi for 2023

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

.We’ll make our position known soon, Dogara, others fault ex-SGF

.Soludo wrong in attacking Obi – AMFPMN BoT chairman

.133m poor Nigerians: FG has failed, says LP candidate

32
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Obiorah ifoh and  Phil Okose, Onitsha

 

The presidential aspiration of Peter Obi has gotten a major boost as the Norther Christian block of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has declared support for Labour Party Presidential Candidate.

 

The Aggrieved Northern APC Christians group in a recent statement admonished its members to support the Obi/Datti Ticket in 2023.

 

 

The group in a statement title; “Why we have chosen to endorse the Obi/Datti ticket” signed by one of its leaders, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, said it came to the decision of supporting the Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi and his running mate Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed after a painstaking analysis of the alternative tickets.

 

 

The group described the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket as ‘satanic’, adding that it is a deliberate and well-calculated plan to sow a seed of religious discord among Nigerians, adding that Northerners are their intended target.

 

 

Read the full statement below:

 

 

WHY WE HAVE CHOSEN TO ENDORSE THE OBI/DATTI TICKET

 

As one of the foremost critics of APC’s single-faith presidential ticket, and also in difference to those who have patiently waited for our guidance as to where to pitch our tent, after a painstaking review and analysis of the alternative presidential tickets, we now wish to recommend the Obi/Datti presidential ticket.

 

We wish to briefly narrate some few reasons among many why we have endorsed this ticket and commend it to all Nigerians of good conscience who desire justice, equity and a harmonious co-existence of all Nigerians across tribes, religion and geopolitical regions. More over there is currently in circulation the fake news that I have thrown in my towel with the PDP. Nothing could be further from the truth. To me the PDP and APC are different sides of the same coin.

 

 

1 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. It is an indisputable fact that the whole of Northern Nigeria is currently mired in several intractable socio-economic problems due to the activities of several nebulous criminal groups. Agriculture, the mainstay of the northern economy, is all but abandoned because kidnappers and bandits have prevented people from venturing out of the safety of their homes. Interstate and intercity travel for either business or leisure have all but ceased not only due to un-motorable roads but more so for fear of kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of banditry. Our rural schools have all but closed for fear of kidnappers. Government-owned universities have closed thus depriving the children of the already impoverished Northern masses access to affordable higher education. Thus, our out-of-school and idle children have become easy targets for recruitment by bandits and kidnappers. And there is no solution in sight.

 

Then, out of nowhere this man Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a renown Yoruba-hegemonist, a man who championed the establishment of a Ministry of Regional Integration in each state government of the South-west geopolitical region which he bestrides as an emperor, and a man who was once quoted as saying “I do not believe in one Nigeria” (THISDAY, The Sunday Newspaper, April 13, 1997, page 9) comes up with a Muslim-muslim ticket knowing fully 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 from all shades of the society must see this Tinubu/Kashim same-faith ticket as a proposal from the pit of hell that can only be conjured by the most Machiavellian minds known to man and therefore must be rejected wholesome by all lovers of our country and its nascent democracy.

 

On the other hand, Alhaji Kashim Shetima, Tinubu’s Vice Presidential running mate is a man who once said “restructuring my foot, let’s restructure our minds”. For eight years he presided over Borno State at a time when Boko Haram was overrunning the state almost at will and restructuring the minds of its victims against Christianity and western education. The kidnapped Chibok and Dapchi girls and many more are now slowly trickling out of captivity in the Boko Haram indoctrination camps fully Islamized and carrying children born into Islam in captivity – a true example of “mind restructuring” if there ever was one. There is also this little matter of an allegation of a very close relationship or otherwise between the Vice Presidential candidate of APC and Boko Haram! And, which Christian can forget one Kabiru Sokoto the alleged Boko Haram kingpin accused of complicity in the Christmas bombing of St Theresa Catholic Church, Madallah that resulted in 44 deaths and 77 injured Christian worshippers? Or that the said Kabiru Sokoto was eventually arrested at his hiding place in the Borno State Government Lodge Abuja? Are Christians not justified in being scared of a government run by these duo?

 

 

  1. 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.

 

3 This APC ticket goes against the grain of Nigerian politics which in practice (if not in law) has always sought 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.

 

 

Furthermore, in our quest for justice and equity in the socio-political and religious space of the country, it is obvious that only 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.

 

5 Nigerians should also resist the temptation of being ruled by the same set of courtiers who are recycling themselves, their children and their friends in a monarchal fashion, in and out of government to the exclusion of other segments of the 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 keen observer will not fall to notice that APC is a transmutation of Action Group/UPN that is dominated by the children or grandchildren of those who once run and ruined the Action Group while the PDP is a transmutation of NPC/NPN similarly dominated by the children or grandchildren of the people who once run and ruined the NPC. 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.

 

6 There is a also this palpable fear and anxiety over 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 a heightened fear of a possible perpetuation of a Fulbe hegemony in the country. Besides, there is the perception by many Nigerians that the Fulbe are the main actors in the banditry and kidnappings currently ravaging the country. Therefore, there is a widespread perception that another Fulbe-led government will not have the inclination or political will to address the country’s security challenges seeing as a majority of the perpetrators are its kindred.

 

There is also this perception that appointments by the current government are driven more by ethnic and religious cronyism than by Nationalistic considerations. This has given rise to a fear of a possible perpetuation of this trend by another Fulbe-led government. Both APC and PDP presents us with these horrible options. The Obi/Datti ticket possesses a great potential to wean us from these problems.

 

7 Finally, as the political campaigns advance towards the election dates, the tendency to divide the country along regional, tribal and religious affiliations is gradually beginning to manifest. We can see very clearly that the APC having woefully failed in its original plan to instigate a form of jihad which it had sought through its same-faith ticket in order to capture the moslem votes, has now resorted to a tribal card. The battle cry is now “it is our turn” tribal card in the South-West. The PDP on the other hand, seeing new opportunities in APC’s failed jihad strategy is tending towards adapting both the religious and ethnic strategies of APC in the North.

 

Nigerians must be awake to these very dangerous campaign trends because any of the political parties that comes into government by pandering to ethnic or religious sentiments may not be able govern successfully and might further accentuate the social cleavages.

 

Men of good conscience should therefore look to opportunities that unite rather than divide us. Only the Labor 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.

 

.We’ll make our position known soon -Dogara, others

 

Some of the Northern Christian Leaders in the All-Progressives Congress (APC), have dissociated themselves from the position canvassed by their Chairman and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal.

 

Media reports had earlier indicated that the Northern Christian Leaders in the APC, led by a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, had dumped their party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over his choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

 

But in a statement jointly signed by Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, Simon Achuba, Hon Albert Atiwurcha, Prof Doknan Sheni, Mela A. Nunge, SAN, Gen Ishaya Bauka (Retd), Prof Ibrahim Haruna and Mrs Leah Olusiyi, the group said necessary consultations had been concluded, and based on manifestly unassailable empirical data, the group was poised to adopt a position which would be made known to the public at an interfaith event to be held very soon.

 

They said the decision to endorse a particular candidate and the statement credited to the chairman were solely the decision and views of the Chairman which he was absolutely entitled to but not that of the group.

 

“We want to draw the attention of the public to the recent position canvassed by our Chairman, Engr B D Lawal as the position of our Group.

 

“We wish to state that necessary consultations have been concluded, and based on manifestly unassailable empirical data, the group is poised to adopt a position which will be made known to the public at an interfaith event to be held very soon.

 

“Suffices to say that no one in the group including the Chairman has been mandated to speak to the public about our position at this material time.

 

“Based on our modus Operandi, our position was meant to be presented to the public at the event above referred to. That has not changed.

 

“Consequently, the decision to endorse a particular candidate and the statement credited to the chairman are solely the decision and views of the Chairman which he is absolutely entitled to but not that of the group.

 

“We hope this statement clears all the quarries most of us have been inundated with on this all-important subject matter,” they said.

 

.Soludo wrong in attacking Obi – AMFPMN BoT chairman

Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State, is my friend and I can’t believe he said that the Labour Party, LP, Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, would not win the 2023 Presidential election.

 

The chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT,  Association of Music Film Producers and Marketers of Nigeria, AMFPMN, Prince Uzoma Ubaoha, made the insertion Thursday, in Onitsha, while reacting to the allegation that Soludo was envious of Obi’s rising political profile.

 

“I know Soludo very well, he is my friend and I can’t believe he said such thing and if he had said it, it may be a mistake because Igbo have no other person that will go for such position for now than Obi.

 

“If Soludo had said that Obi would not go, I will not because he is a friend and support him against the wishes and aspirations of the Igbo race. Obi is widely acceptable for the position by every tribe not because it is the turn of the Southeast but because he is the best of all presidential candidates.

 

“Obidient is a mass movement, especially by Nigerian youths who are tired of the old horses. What the youths want now is a youth like themselves. So I will advise Sudo to apologise to Ndigbo not even Obi because nobody is happy with him since he said that Obi would not win.

 

“Human beings can make mistake, if actually he said so. Every mistake is pardonable . Who do you thing will be the next President if not Obi. Brothers should learn to be  their brothers’ keepers,” he pleaded.

 

The BoT chairman said further that Obidient movement was like the EndSARS protest that was a revolution that would have taken over leadership of this country if not that the SARS was sacked immediately over abominations it committed.

 

“This Obidient movement was like the EndSARS protest that was a pure revolution by youths. Same thing is going to play out now by voting come the 2023 election. The elders must leave leadership for the youths,” he vowed.

 

He said  that, “Obi has given the youths hope , he is not tribalistic, he is a youth, his achievements in Anambra speak for him and I know what he did in Anambra, Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy, ANIDS, which is development of all sectors of the economy.”

 

.133m poor Nigerians: FG has failed, says LP candidate

 

In another development, the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi has reacted to the 2022 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report, saying that it shows “how badly Nigeria is doing in terms of investing in the wellbeing of the people”.

 

In a series of tweets Obi noted that roughly 133 million Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor, representing about 63% of the populatuon.

 

According to him, although most of those affected are in the North,  multidimensional poverty is widespread across the country, noting that the report provides some sobering facts.

 

“First, the rural part of Nigeria is trapped in abject poverty; second, we are leaving our children, miserable and uneducated. 27 percent of school-age children are out of school and poor, 29 percent of all school-aged children are not attending school, and 94 percent of out of school children are very poor.”

 

Obi in the tweet also queried, “What future does Nigeria have without educated and happy children? What violent, nasty, and poor future are we building with such terrible lack of investment in our children”

 

He noted that “Multidimensional Poverty Index is the best mirror of failure of governance in the country” noting that “In spite of earning trillions in oil revenue, in spite of borrowing trillion naira for infrastructure development, almost half of Nigerians is poor and close to two-third of Nigerians do not have access to basic sanitation, access to basic education, lack basic nutrition and do not visit hospitals”

 

Obi described the situation as “terrible disgrace and disservice to a country with our tremendous natural and human resource”

 

He said that the political economy of this report should be made clear to every Nigerian voter because what it simply means is that government is not working.

 

“It means that the state is working for the few, and not for all the citizens of the country. It means that the future is terrible for every Nigerian- young or old, rich or poor.  The trendingyl

of multidimensional poverty if not arrested immediately will damage state capacity and effectiveness and therefore disarray economic and social policies that will reverse the trend in the future.”

 

Painting further the gloomy picture of the report Obi noted, “If we combine atrocious fiscal decline with grand and pervasive corruption and the level of incompetence of public leadership to such generalized poverty, we will end up a completely collapsed state, thrown back to state of nature”

 

He remarked that unless the situation is arrested, “With our population estimated to reach 400 million in the next 28 years, Nigeria would become a security risk to the entire Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

“This report tells a story of the failure of economic policy of government. The failure of government to invest in basic social and human infrastructure and the lack of commitment to the wellbeing of ordinary Nigerians, especially those in the rural communities is heart-breaking.

 

“How on earth is it that 63 percent of Nigerians do not have access to the most basic sanitation and nutrition? How come 63 percent of our citizens cannot approach a clinic or health center within two hours? The World Bank assessment of poverty in Nigeria in 2022 makes it clear that additional 5.1m Nigerians became poor this year.

 

The LP candidate noted that with the report, even if there was  no pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Nigeria would still not have been able to  reduce its poverty rate by any percentage because the policy administration has no impact on poverty.

 

“This is a clear indictment of the APC government and its elitist policy administration. It shows a failure to appreciate the need to refocus on social and economic policies that improve the access of the poor to basic services. It is the result of the old idea of development as contract and procurement of poorly managed big projects that feed into the bureaucracy of corruption.

He said that Labor Party offers a different approach to development that emphasizes the wellbeing of the people and ensures that policies and resources are targeted at materially improving the wellbeing of everyone, not just political leaders and their cronies.

Obi said that, “It is now time to end politics as usual, time to disband the army of greedy and self-serving politicians in Abuja and elect those who are connected to the people and those who share the pains and deprivations of the working and unemployed youths, abandoned women and deprived children across Nigeria”

 

He promised to disrupt this trajectory of failure and wickedness in high places across Nigeria and give Nigerians back their country so that every child will have access to good school, good drinking water, good sanitation, good healthcare, and their parents good jobs and the joy of being a citizen of a country that is lifting millions from poverty into shared prosperity.

 

“If China lifted 750 million from poverty in about 20 years and if India reduced poverty from 50 percent to 20 percent in about 15 years, we could do even better. We can wipe off multidimensional poverty in less than a decade. Lets do it together, let us end the corruption and incompetence with our votes” he concluded.

Comments are closed.