Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation under President Buhari has rejected the APC and Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim ticket and he even appealed to Buhari to revoke Shettima’s nomination as vice presidential candidate.
In a elongated statement released to the media and public he made his case for the rejection of the Muslim-Muslim ticket for All Progress Congress (APC) for 2023 elections.
Lawal said, “So if my very good friend Tinubu in a desperate bid to become President allows himself to made into a religious bigot or even a mujahideen, he is welcome. But it is a risk that will not play out positively for his presidential bid. But, were he to win and become President of Nigeria, it will be as a sectional President; an Islamic President. And he will surely face massive discontent and opposition even before taking off.
“But as a popular proverb goes: “Those whom the gods want to destroy they first make mad”. It appears that the gods want to destroy the APC and its Presidential Candidate and have chosen the instrumentality of the northern Moslem governors and their super ambitious tool and Kashim Ibrahim for this purpose. Alhaji Kashim Shetima 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.
“Now tell me which Christian will vote for APC with the following contraption: Moslem Presidential Candidate (Lagos), Moslem Vice Presidential Candidate (Borno), Moslem National Chairman (Nasarawa), Moslem Deputy National Chairman (Borno), Moslem President (Katsina); Moslem Senate President (Yobe); Moslem Speaker (Lagos); Moslem Deputy Speaker (Plateau) e.t.c. APC the great! Wu na de try woh!
“It will not be true if I say that I did not see it coming. I have often read his body language, picked up snippets from several discussions with his lapdogs (some of whom, sadly are Christians, but most of whom are Muslims) and I have conveyed my reservations to them against the pitfalls of a Muslim-muslim ticket towards, which I sensed they were drifting.
“As part of my obligation to him, a close friend, I had on many occasions argued the merits and demerits of both ticket permutations to him. I have done so in both verbal and written form and I have likewise, done so with some of his close respectable associates and friends.
“In all instances, I had left him with the sole responsibility for his final decision arguing that in the end, the consequences of the outcome of any bad decision will be his to bear. There might be some collateral damages though. I have also on several occasions passed on to him counsels and messages from some well-meaning Nigerians intended to alert him on the possible outcomes of the presidential ticket permutations.”
“Expecting Nigerians to ignore this crass insensitivity to the country’s diversity amounts to acceding to the perpetration of very grave injustice and discrimination against a huge segment of the society. No one who seeks to be president of Nigeria should ever deploy the tool of religious extremism and exclusivism as a tool to win elections. This is very very dangerous. And this is very sad.
“But baring any last minute change of mind, Bola has made his choice. He should be bluntly told that in this choice Nigerian Christians clearly see a pending Islamic Republic of Nigeria in its infancy and are right to be severely anxious. There is gloom among the Christian community all over the country since Tinubu announced Kashim Shetima as his running mate. Are the generality of the moslem ummah happy with this? The answer is a resounding NO.”
He continued “Considering that the chairman of the party is a Moslem, deputy chairman north is a Moslem, the president of the senate is a Moslem, the speaker and deputy speaker are Moslems, and now both the presidential and Vice presidential candidates are Moslems and apart from this violating the constitution section 14 subsection 3, if this was to be reversed that all these were Christians, can any Moslem in the North be able to sell the APC presidential tickets to any Moslem ummah?”
Lawal detailed his relationship with Tinubu and mentioned his attributes to governance:“Tinubu is a very good man. He is a great listener. He has a very humble and friendly disposition to every one. He is very generous in both cash and kind, especially where it could advance his political interests,” added that, “But I have realized that it is in the nature of power that sycophants and lapdogs have the most influence on leaders with such character traits.
“They will lie to him, malign and disparage others and generally do any thing to curry his favour and to also put well-meaning associates in bad light. I suspect this is what has happened to my friend. He has been cornered by self-serving, hero-worshiping, lapdogs.
“It never used to be like this. While in his hay-day in Lagos, he surrounded himself with smart, street-wise guys that could tell truth to power. He had Rauf Aregbesola, Yemi Osinbajo, Babatunde Fashola, Dele Alake, Muiz Banire, etc.
“The Lagos days were the days of think-tanks, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, principles and ideologies. But these people have since grown-up and moved up to establish their own systems living my friend stranded. Nature they say abhors vacuum.”
“True, based on the advice of his new friends, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has made his choice. And I am sure he thinks he is ready for the outcome of that choice. He has chosen to bring religion to the front burner of Nigerian politics. And being a Muslim, he has chosen to take sides with his own religion. For all he cares, Christians can go.”