APGA, SDP chairmen say competence, not religion should matter to Nigerians


From yesterday, the piece continues the argument that in spite of the criticisms of ‘detractors’, the APC presidential team acted legitimately in settling for a Muslim-Muslim ticket which is its best strategy to win the 2023 presidential election

My  take is, their hypocritical outrage over APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket against their silence over their party’s subversion of zoning was due to a sudden realisation that the APC has refused to fall into their trap of fielding an unpopular ticket that can’t win in 2023.

They were quick to figure out that they have been checkmated in the chess game they initiated, hence they began overheating the polity with untenable noises about insensitivity to religious balancing, and began questioning whether the party hasn’t deemed it fair to find a “competent and credible Northern Christian” as running mate to Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu without interrogating themselves and their party whether they couldn’t find a “competent and credible Southern Christian” to crown as the presidential candidate of their PDP for the 2023 election.

Moreover, between having a President or Vice President from your faith group, which one is better? The comical hypocrisy is even more exposed when you reckon that the groups purportedly making “a case” for competent and credible Northern Christians have never ever bothered to look for such quality of Northern Christian to be President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, which further cements the argument that they always only use or only talk about the Northern Christian for propaganda purposes only, but not because they genuinely care.

Actually, if religious balancing was even a thing that truly matttered to them, or if religion at all was a parameter for their support for a political party, then the APC which they spent all their time demonising, from 2013 till date, should have been their tent because the party fielded a very erudite, intelligent pastor as running mate to General Muhammadu Buhari, and both subsequently ended up becoming President and Vice President respectively.

Much more, if they are truly religious and have secured employment from God to convert Nigerians (and the world) unto repentance, which is another term for change, then the fact that the APC presidential ticket came with a strong pledge to fight corruption and enthrone probity and prudence in managing the country’s resources should have further galvanised them into pitching their tents with the party, to help it achieve that objective, because that’s what God would have wanted, isn’t it? – for Nigeria to be rid of the very cancer that has stunted its growth and prosperity, right?

But having a pastor from a very prominent pentecostal church as Vice President did not sway them from mischievous attacks against the APC administration and neither did the administration’s quest for all Nigerians to help it fight corruption sway them.

Instead, they became the faces and voices of vitriolic hate and lies against the administration, always being cheered by the very criminal class that plundered the country. In fact, a particular prominent preacher who seems to have not forgiven President Buhari for making him lose lucrative oil and gas deals that he had gotten from President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as basis for supporting his reelection bid in 2015 has been widely noted to have converted his pulpit into a bully pulpit for regular dissemination of hate and calumny against both President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. He has even been known to have called the Vice President some unprintable names on that same pulpit in the presence of his large crowds.

The point is: while their consistent unrighteous attacks laced with megawatts of hate against the President and Vice President could be carnal ways of therapy for them to heal themselves of the frustration of losing metaphorical candies and ice cream, which were not in short supply to them from the PDP pipe of plunder prior to May 29, 2015, it should however be loudly stated that it has no place in the Christian religion, and neither should they be misconstrued as representing the religion in that manner. They are just opportunistic businessmen and women exploiting religion to play self-gaining politics, and which is why their lopsided outrage over APC’s strategy against PDP’s strategy should be regarded as insincere and hypocritical.

Being the self-serving opportunists that they are, they always love projecting their own personal desires and fantasies as religious demands, knowing full well that all across the world, the quickest and easiest way to manipulate people, especially the larger populations that lack rigorous thinking capabilites, into zombies is to always stir their emotions with religion and make them believe that their faith was at stake if they didn’t support certain [political] causes even if it was very clear that the cause in question was as dishonest as the kind of politicians pursuing it.

Usually, they expect that you should just accept and swallow (without thinking or introspection) everything they tell you. For effect, they employ fear-mongering tactics to drive home their agenda of controlling your entire thoughts just so that you can become a robot at their beck and call.

And just to be clear, it is not only traditional APC enemies that rose up in hypocritical outrage over the party’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket. Some of its prominent members like David Babachir Lawal, Yakubu Dogara et al who enjoyed more privileges and opportunities in the government formed by the party than what they propably sacrificed for it also rose up against it. Reports have it that the party has consistently lost both the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections in their polling booths or wards or local government areas, largely due to the elaborate campaigns by some clerics and other community leaders in their areas that the APC was an Islamic party.

In spite of that abysmal voting record, both Babachir and Dogara were made SGF and House Speaker by the party in 2015. In the case of Babachir Lawal, it is on record how he testified that Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu – a Muslim and current presidential standard bearer of the party – was the one who nominated and presented his name to President Buhari to be appointed as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, while all those who pulled the strings, and nominated, and then overwhelmingly voted for Dogara as House Speaker, were Muslims, majorly from the North. In fact, shortly after he was made Speaker, Dogara testified during his thanksgiving service at a church in Bauchi that the Sultan of Sokoto made his emergence as Speaker possible.

If Muslims, especially the ones in Northern Nigeria, were not dismayed by the hypocrisy of Babachir Lawal over his party’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, I can tell you for free that they were not only dismayed but also shocked by Yakubu Dogara’s decision to tag himself to the coat tails of Babachir Lawal’s anti-Muslim hysteria. 

 •Cham Faliya Sharon can be reached on Twitter @ChamSharon

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