As reactions continue to trail former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal’s criticisms of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) Muslim-Muslim ticket, APC stalwart, Ahmed Sajo has kicked against claims of Christian marginalisation in the party.
On Thursday, Lawal endorsed the Labour Party’s (LP) Peter Obi, a southern Christian, in spite of his membership in the APC, citing the religion of his party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.
But Sajo, in a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, described Lawal and his cohorts as being emotional.
Speaking on possible feelings of anger among northern Christians over the Muslim-Muslim ticket, the former Adamawa State Commissioner for Information said he did not think that was the case.
“I don’t think so. There are people who are emotional like Babachir and co. You cannot excuse them; you cannot say, ‘You cannot exist within our region.’ But they are there. But that does not mean that, politically, we have marginalised our brothers,” he argued.
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“My local government is 90 per cent Muslim and our candidate for House of Assembly is a Christian. We don’t see him as a Christian; we see him as a brother, a capable person, and somebody that can deliver.”
Asked whether the APC recognises Christians as a force in the North, he said, “Absolutely! Is it not in my party that Babachir was made SGF and Boss Mustapha is now SGF? Are they not nothern Christians? Is it not in my party that (Yakubu) Dogara was speaker of the House of Representatives?
“You think that if they were marginalised, they would have arrived at that level? Remember, David Mark was Senate President for how long? Is he not a northern Christian? If they were marginalised, would he have been the Senate President?
“Don’t forget, at a certain point in time when David Mark was the Senate President, Ekweremadu, a southern Christian, was the deputy senate president.”
Northern APC Christians Disagree On Obi Endorsement
A group under the aegis of the Aggrieved Northern APC Christians, on Thursday, recommended that its members and their supporters back the Obi/Datti presidential ticket for the 2023 election.
In a statement titled “Why we have chosen to endorse the Obi/Datti ticket” signed by Lawal, one of its leaders, said it came to the decision of supporting Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, after a painstaking review and analysis of the alternative tickets.
But in a swift response, Dogara and other members of the group distanced themselves from the endorsement, saying they had yet to conclude consultations and that their position would be made public.