By Lawani Mikairu

The Chief of Staff to the Director General, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Yakubu Dati has accused former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir 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 epitomize 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,” he said.

“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,” Dati added.

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