December 04, (THEWILL) – Yakubu Dati, the Chief of Staff to the Director General, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Simon Lalong, has said that the disagreement between the former Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, which prompted them endorsing the Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party Presidential candidates respectively, have confirmed the self-serving interest of the duo, who pretended that they were fighting for the interest of northern Christians.
Dati, in a statement on Sunday, said their claim to be fighting for the interest of the people was only a hoax, which prompted him to write an article three months ago titled, ‘Babachir, Dogara: Unmasking the Judas Dragging CAN to Disrepute’, noting that the concerns of the two political leaders were not about the collective interest of northern Christians, but a sour grape that neither of them was picked as running mate to Tinubu.
He said that with the latest development coming from their camps, the chicken is finally home to roost with the duo, who claimed to be working in the interest of northern Christians going their separate ways by pursuing self-serving interests.
“A few weeks ago, the former SGF, claiming to be working in the collective interest of the Forum of Christians and Muslims Political Leaders from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), announced that the group is throwing its weight behind the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.
“Few days after he made that declaration, however, his co-traveller, Dogara, issued a statement saying Babachir spoke only for himself and not for the group and promised that the group would issue a statement indicating its collective interest not long after that.
“On Friday, Dogara lived up to his promise and came out with what he wants us to believe is the true position of the Forum saying they have adopted the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as consensus candidate for the 2023 election. At this stage, it is pertinent to ask who between the two truly represents the forum and whose interests they’re representing”, Dati queried.
Dati wanted to know whether it was Babachir, who wanted Nigerians to believe that the forum had chosen Peter Obi or Dogara, who said the forum had chosen Atiku.
“This is what I had tried to warn the general public, especially northern Christians about as early as September, when I advised that we should be wary of the duo as in the end, what would play out is self-interest. What is happening now has vindicated my position that their disagreements with the Tinubu/Shettima ticket have nothing to do with the principle, but are purely a result of personal interests.
“As it is, the APC has remained the only party all out to serve the collective interest of Nigerians regardless of ethnicity or religion. This is why as the other parties and groups hostile to the APC ticket seem to be lacerated and thrown into confusion by the minute, the Tinubu/Shettima ticket is waxing stronger by the day”, he said.
Dati said that the first to go down was the PDP, where five governors have pulled out of the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign and formed their own group, to directly oppose the ambition of Atiku and observed that their exit from the Atiku campaign was already taking a heavy toll on the party with many leaders identifying with the oppositional stand of the Integrity Group and voters seeing through the inability of the PDP presidential candidate to unite the country.
“It is a case of a man who claims to be the unifier, who could not even unite his own party members. Secondly is the brouhaha in the Labour Party, where there is turmoil and key officials of the party have been suspended, while the fate of its presidential candidate as a bonafide member of the party still remains uncertain.
“As if that was enough to show division and strife in the camp of those Babachir and Dogara want to take northern Christians to, the very group they belong to has also shown it is in quandary with two of its prominent members going separate ways on their choice of presidential candidates.
“What more can one add other than to advise northern Christians to take a cue from what is happening to the Babachir/Dogara group to realise that the duo are not out to serve their interests but to negotiate deals for themselves”, he said.
Dati urged voters to compare the strife and disagreements in the other parties with the peace and cohesion in the APC, remarking that since Lalong assumed leadership of the campaign council, he has been able to unite leaders of the party and had been able to draw the minds of the voting public to real issues about governance rather than religious sentiment.
“It is to his credit that people no longer talk about the same faith ticket, but the ability to lead the country with purpose-driven vision. Northern Christians and all lovers of Nigeria can now see from what is happening that only one party enjoys massive support across the country and has the ability to unite and develop Nigeria and that is the APC”, he said.