September 25, (THEWILL) – Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, has alleged that in a desperate bid to convince the electorate to accept a Muslim-Muslim ticket, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has procured fake Christian groups to divide the church.
This is just as the Chief of Staff to the Director General, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Yakubu Dati, accused the former SGF of trying to isolate Christians in northern Nigeria from playing significant roles in the mainstream politics of Nigeria.
Lawal in a statement disclosed that a number of Nigerians have reached out to him and former Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, to convince them to accept the same-faith presidential and vice presidential ticket of the APC.
He said, “We have so far not taken the road to reconciliation because in the first instance, neither the APC as a party nor its presidential candidate has bothered to seek us out for reconciliation even though early on, our doors were left open for such,” Babachir said.
“We only get to learn of their views through vile propaganda in the media courtesy of their rabid attack hogs whom they have procured in abundance.
“There are, of course, some “Christian” turncoats and “Judases” who, driven either by moral turpitude, poverty or greed, have hired themselves out as agents and spoilers of this noble Christian course.
“To this group, I wish to recommend the study of the biographies of Judas Iscariot and Ahithophel in the Bible. Be careful to note how their lives ended
“It seems that Bola/Kashima’s preferred approach is to attempt to counter our position through insults and sponsored fake Christian organisations in order to create the impression that there is division within Christendom on this matter.
“Needless to say, this tactic has failed woefully. They are now the but of jokes in church gatherings all over the country. Unknown to them Church history emphatically records that Christians are more united in terms of adversity and persecution as now being propelled by this MM ticket of the APC.
“This approach has also portrayed the duo as arrogant and pitiable people whilst also exposing them to the public as people with unimaginable deficiencies of noble character.
“The reality is that for each minute that this same-faith ticket duo have spent on their goebellsian propaganda, they have ended up spending several hours more trying to rebut the controversies that they themselves create in the process.
“Every one, including some notable Christian haters are now inviting false “Bishops” and “CAN” Leaders to meetings. They are busy fabricating overnight “christian” organisations that churn out falsehood to the public. It is such a pity that people who intend to lead our country could descend to such low levels of morality and deficiency of conscience.
“But belying this posture is the reality of their true intentions not to have any roles for northern Christians in their government. The unarguable fact is that they intend to offer nothing of significance to any northern Christian in an APC government anticipated to be led by Bola and Kashim.
“The reality of their zoning arrangement is that the North East region is already out of the equation for any other posts because it has the Vice Presidency, while the North Central too is out because they have the party’s National Chairmanship.
“The other key positions, The Senate President, the Speaker, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff to the President positions have been zoned to the North West, South South, South East and South West regions respectively. Besides, we all know that there is and will be no ranking christian Senator or House of Rep member from the North West that could occupy the seats of Senate President, Speaker or even their deputies. In any case, it is an open secret that they never allow Christians to occupy such positions in the North West Zone even if there is a qualified Christian.
“Who then do they think they are fooling with this their “there are other positions in government that could go to the northern Christians” mantra? If Kashim Shetima worked determinedly with Bola Tinubu’s acquiescence to deny the northern Christians the Deputy National Chairman (North) position during the party’s National Convention, what magic will then compel them to give a northern Christian any significant posts in their government? Let us make no mistake about it; these guys will persecute us to no end. They are very well practiced in this.
“My dear Christians, it has been clear to us from the onset that APC, Bola and Kashim never had the intention or plan that offers the Northern Christians any sense of inclusion through any tangible roles in their government.
“Those with major political influence on them are mostly religious bigots of the hegemonist flavor and some self-centered sycophants of the evil kind. So instead of reconciliation which would involve offering some important positions to Northern Christians, they have decided to go for broke and ignore the interests of Christians of the north. And, broken they will be indeed. We noticed this trend in APC right from its registration in 2014 up to the 2022 convention where the overriding goal seemed to have been to exclude northern Christians from all the organs of the party.
“How any one expects APC to win the 2023 presidential election under this climate befuddles the mind. I do not know why this saying keeps coming to mind: “those whom the gods want to destroy, they first make mad” but it bears restating. It is a pity that Bola has chosen to throw away the Presidency which was within his easy reach to grab.
“As for us northern Christians and other Nigerians who share in our vision of a united and peaceful Nigeria devoid of tribal and religious exclusion, we will continue with our struggle and are very very confident of victory.
“After all, the God who allowed Nigeria to be inhabited by a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society intended that we all should live in peace and harmony as brothers and sisters all created in the image of God. We are on a mission from God and are confident of victory. So, we fear no one and can be intimidated by no one. We are confident that Nigerians, especially sensible Northern Nigerians, will come to appreciate this fight for justice, equality and peaceful co-existence. We are buoyed by Psalm 2:1-4 which reads thus:
“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take council together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying ‘let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us’. He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derisions.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff to the Director General, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Yakubu Dati, has accused Lawal of trying to isolate Christians in northern Nigeria from playing significant roles in the mainstream politics of Nigeria.
Dati said Lawal has no mandate to speak on behalf of northern Christians, insisting that the former SGF has no clout, even in his local government area.
“Last time I checked, Babachir Lawal does not have the mandate to speak on behalf of northern Christians because he was never elected to lead any such group and does not command the respect of the average northern Christians. Even in his native Hong local government, Lawal does not have a voice, as his voice thins out when other respected personalities from the area like the current SGF, Boss Mustapha speak.
“But more profoundly is the fact that Babachir Lawal talks as one who does not have a sense of history hence is trying to carve out a region out of Nigeria to make them a target of derision and scorn. Without anybody sending him, Lawal is trying to damage the reputation of northern Christians who have all along been accommodating and tolerant of other Nigerians”, he said.
Dati observed that Northern Christians in Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara, etc, are not known to be hostile, self serving or epitomise bigotry as Lawal is trying to portray them, noting that the northern Christians have worked peacefully and harmoniously with other Nigerians and while they demand equity and fairness in all affairs, do not stake their integrity on the altar of tokenism of political office.
He also said that Nigeria is made up of several blocs that it is almost impossible to include all in every dispensation and every Nigerian understands that and has in the past conceded for the nation to move forward, stating that several administrations in the past both civilian and military have made appointments in ways peculiar to that era.
“The northern Christians have taken the front seats in some administrations and played other roles in others and other sections of the country have understood the exigencies of such era and have been cooperative. Yakubu Gowon, a northern Christian, has been head of state, while TY Danjuma, Joe Garba, Domkat Bali, Shagaya, etc have held responsible positions in this country at one time or the other.
“Under a democratic setting, Iyorchia Ayu, Ameh Ebute, David Mark, have been Senate Presidents and John Wash Pam has been deputy senate presidents, while Yakubu Dogara has been Speaker of the House of Representatives. Joseph Tarka, Azi Nyako etc have contested for the presidential tickets of major political parties in the second republic and did not call for a political separation of northern Christians when they lost.
“During the Goodluck Jonathan administration, the Southwest had nothing in the top four positions in the country and even lost their bid for the Speaker of House of Representatives but they conceded in the interest of Nigeria. Those of us who are Christians in the northern part of the country are prepared to make sacrifices for the greater good and we know that apart from the vice presidency, there are so many ways we can contribute to the development of Nigeria just as we have done in the past.
“The Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council has appointed Governor Lalong as its Director General and this is a big plus for northern Christians and an opportunity for them to identify with the moving train. Again it bothers me that the former SGF carries on as if he is the only Christian leader in northern Nigeria.
“He knows very well that if he says anything as Babachir that people would not take him seriously as his name is associated with a contract scandal that is why he is using northern Christians as a political platform. When respected elders like Olusegun Obasanjo or TY Danjuma speak, they speak on their authority not purportedly as champions of a divisive cause. Babachir should not take us back with his atavistic and jingoistic approach to nation building. We have gone beyond that stage, please”, he said.