The Adamawa state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Ibrahim Bilal, has called on southerners not to be misled into scuttling power rotation to the south by those whose real intentions is to ensure the retention of power in the North, under the guise of rejecting the party’s Musilm-Musilm presidential ticket.
The chairman said it is more in the interest of the south to produce the next President of Nigeria after eight years of northern rule. Alhaji Bilal stated this while addressing a select group of journalists, on Friday in Yola. He said It is my opinion that southerners should not be misled to miss the presidency, caused by the row over the choice of the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu’s decision to settle for Kashim Shettima, a Muslim as his running mate. He stressed rhetorically, by asking if what the south wanted is an all-powerful president or the vice presidency, which in some instances has been described as a “spare tyre”. He said, “The potency of the office of the vice presidency, largely depends on the disposition of the president, what many have jocularly referred to in some forum as “a spare tyre”. “lt is my call and that of like minds that at this junction, is on southerners not to allow themselves to be misled to scuttle the rotation of the Presidency after eight years of power in the North by antagonistic sentiments over Muslim-Muslim ticket, subduing the pragmatism of competence and capability”. We can only say, we question the motives of those behind the agitations to scuttle the presidential bid of the party’s flagbearer, because their real objective may be to maintain the status quo.” He, however, urged the party to do everything humanly possible to placate the Christian bloc within the APC, while expressing disappointment that attempts to sabotage Tinubu’s presidency was coming from influential politicians from the North East. He said, “It is my earnest desire that the party should do everything necessary to placate the Christian bloc, within the APC, to avert any rift going into next year’s presidential polls”. “I am concerned to say the least by the disposition of some influential stakeholders from the region to stoke division, and shatter, the long cherished history of religious tolerance and harmony enjoined in the North East over the faith of Tinubu’s choice, Kashim Shettima, who’s a Muslim from the region”. “We therefore as a party could not reconcile the opposition, by the Christian leaders, of APC extraction who met in Abuja, led by some influential politicians from the region, urging Christians in the country to reject the APC”, he said. “lt becomes even harder for us as a party to comprehend, while Christians were being asked, on the one hand, to reject the APC, whereas there are other Christians within the APC who are seeking elective office under the same platform.” Bilal said Tinubu as an individual has shown himself as a humanist, immuned of bigotry as exemplified by his family life, where members of his household have exercised their faith freely including his wife and some of his children who are practicing Christians.
This article was originally published on Naija News