By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Oodua Youth Parliament has called on the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu to pick a Northern Christian as his running mate in the 2023 Presidential election.
According to a statement issued by the Speaker, Abdulmojeed O Oyeniyi, the youth alleged that there is a conspiracy to sabotage on Tinubu’s mandate, adding that picking a Christian running mate from the Northern part of the country would give him the needed victory.
“Against the wishes of some Northern elites holding onto divisive and extremist views, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) emerged as the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“But the same people who felt they have failed in their calculations have not given up. They have risen up again and this time, they want to scuttle the chances of Tinubu so that power will remain in the North for another eight years.
“They are now using their extremist Imams and youth on social media to threaten the peace of the country and subvert the victory of Tinubu that is certain if the right Christian from the North is chosen as his running mate.
“Some of these Northern elite who have already shown their bigotry and intolerance even on National Television are conspiring to sabotage the South West’s chances of having power in 2023 after they ruled for eight years.
“They are now bent on ensuring that power is handed over to another Northerner and they won’t mind undermining their own party, the APC’s chances so that Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) can win in the general election.
“As we celebrate the June 12 Democracy Day, we believe that this move by some northern oligarchy to subvert the South West of the right to have a democratically elected President must be rejected and resisted by all advocates of democracy both at the individuals levels and institutions,” the group said.
They said the malicious sabotage which bears similar trade marks with the one that stopped MKO in 1993, said if allowed to go through, will retard the integrity Nigeria’s democracy has built both in the eyes of Nigerians and also in the eyes of the international community, particularly the bilateral friendship with Britain and the United States.
“The consequence of a break down in bilateral relations with the West could weaken NIgeria’s might in defeating terrorism, which is already spreading across the country as seen in bloody attack that killed worshippers in Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo on the eve of the APC primary election.
“America, British and friendly nations will simply withdraw all forms of supports in fight against terrorism, including economic aides and slam sanctions leading to more poverty in the land. We do not want this.
“Recall when in 2015, Buhari emerged the flagbearer of the APC, he deemed it fit to run a Muslim- Christian ticket but some divisive individuals now believe it is no longer a source for concern in Asiwaju’s case because they have nothing to lose if the PDP wins, after all, Atiku is their fellow Northern brother.
“This level of manipulation by the North to hold onto power by all means is certainly a recipe for disaster to the nation’s fragile unity at this point in time.
“They plotted to scheme Asiwaju out of the contest, but God in his infinite mercies ensured the emergence of Tinubu despite their scheme to put forward their preferred northern brother Ahmed Lawan.
“This braggadocious acquiescence to push their luck at holding unto power by all means is counter democratic. It is callous and insensitive for some APC northerners to mastermind and suppress the implosion of our great party after reaping from the collective input of Nigerians from across different religions, professions and the length and breadth of the nation,” the statement said.
According to the group, divisive people should recall that after the merger that birthed the APC, Asiwaju has been one of the key benefactors of the APC.
“Having groomed the party now that they are not having what they want (another northern aspirant) they don’t mind bringing down the roof so they can migrate to the PDP to support their other brother Atiku Abubakar to succeed him.
“Little wonder that during the wedding of the president’s son last year, Atiku Abubakar was the one who served as the father of the groom. We took all that for granted not realising that they are all working as one. It is unfortunate that the north is giving Nigerians a reason to believe that they cannot act honourably. Undermining your aspirant just because he isn’t a northerner is gross disservice.
“If the North is truly one, why is it difficult to ensure a winning combination that has a broad appeal across ethno-religious lines and will guarantee the APC candidate a fair chance to secure the mandate of Nigerians just like Buhari? Are they saying that the Northern Christians who are more advanced in Western education don’t have competent people? This dangerous plot against Tinubu must be stopped.
“Sadly, Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai in his characteristic manner made very uncomplimentary remarks that suggest he wants to drag Nigeria into the same mess he created in Kaduna State, with the spate of insecurity in his state.
“Nasir el-Rufai in his divisive tendencies that have thrown Kaduna State into a serious mess stated a Muslim-Muslim ticket in Kaduna South Local Government and he was ignored. It wasn’t about competency because the people he imposed in Kaduna South were backward educationally.
“At the build up to the 2019 general elections, el-Rufai, in his usual divisive tendency, flew a Muslim Muslim ticket even when there were and there are still more competent people both men and women in the APC that have won several awards in their field of endeavours, but because he share extremists views, he picked a woman Muslim as his running mate so that the white men will not question the dangerous precedence.
“Even the el-Rufai and his supporters both in the state and outside the state are not ashamed of what happened in the name of an election that was characterized with poor voters turnout. At the end of it all, the gubernatorial election produced more votes than the presidential election that had high voters turnout. Many people are now happy because the new electoral law has been signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Now that Kaduna has become a hotbed of ethno-religious crisis with el-Rufai dividing the people along religious lines, is that the kind of government they hope for Asiwaju to run?
“In his acceptance speech, Tinubu alluded to a united Nigeria. So, why the attempt by some Northerners to start usurping the decision to come to a harmonious Nigeria? Is it because they have not been able to succeed at their dirty plan, hence the subtle quest to destroy Asiwaju’s God given mandate in an attempt to help the opposition party? Lovers of APC in all parts of the country must not support this evil plan.
“We are very much aware that this north oligarch who are pressuring Tinubu to pick a Muslim vice president, are threatening him with the false hood that the number of Muslim in the region is overwhelmingly higher than that of the Christians this not true. This is the realistic population of Christians in the North,” the statement added.