By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
The Arewa People’s Coalition has condemned the Lagos protest by some stakeholders and supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The Arewa People’s Coalition stated this in a statement signed by the Chairman, Malam Usman Abdullahi Fagge,addung that the “demonstrators, who paraded themselves under the umbrella of a Coalition of APC Stakeholders Network and Southwest Supporters of Tinubu to ask the running mate and former Borno Governor ,Alhaji Kashim Shettima to step down and be replaced with a Christian to have balanced ticket is outrightly rejected”.
They said “the choice of Senator Shettima is a product of consultations across the 36 states for a better Nigeria and this among many reasons is why we insist the Tinubu/Shettima ticket is far from anything religion . This is why we are going to organize a one million Man-Match to inform Nigerians.”
The group however, advised that instead of protesting and calling for the impossible now, “the protesters should sheath their swords and meet party leaders to discuss the ways to address their grievances in the interest of progress of the party.”
They considered the protest as the handiwork of mischief makers and enemies of progress working against the chances of the ruling party to win the forthcoming 2023 presidential election.
While explaining the need to jettison ethnic and religious sentiments in choice of leaders across all tiers of governance ,the group noted that “seeking the replacement of a validly nominated running mate ,whose name has been duly submitted to INEC is not only ridiculous ,but also disturbing considering the fact that they are acclaimed members and stakeholders of the party “
“We want the protesters to know that the party; APC Flagbearer and former Governor of Lagos State , Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has chosen Senator Shettima on grounds of experience, merit, competence and ability to deliver good governance and not on any religious consideration.”
“We want them to know that in developed countries, people elected into political offices are most often on basis of merit , track record of performance and ability to work and ensure good governance and this is what is expected here in Nigeria and APC is setting the pace for others to follow in future.”
“When they posited that the only obstacle between APC presidential candidate and the presidency in 2023 is his choice of Muslim -Muslim Ticket;they failed to understand that Nigerians are wiser to know the difference between mediocrity and capacity.”
“There is no attempt by APC or it’s presidential candidate to create an atmosphere for one religion to dominate the political structure and widen the gap of mistrust and destroy the delicate sense of tolerance cultivated over the years,” the group said.