The APCPCC’s spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, stated this on Monday in response to the Yakuba Dogara-led Northern Christian group in the APC, which held a meeting over the weekend, and warned that voting along religious lines in the 2023 general election may trigger negative consequences among Nigerians.
Dogara, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, had denounced the Tinubu/ Shettima ticket as Muslim-Muslim ticket, and warned against likely consequences.
He has been leading the Northern Christian group in the APC, which include former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachi Lawal, in protest against the APC presidential ticket.
In a communique issued after the meeting, the Northern Group however agreed to focus on issues for unity rather than encouraging attacks on sensitive religious issues in the name of politics.
Apart from Dogara and Lawal, others who attended the meeting included former Deputy Governor of Sokoto State and ex-Minister of Water Resources during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mukhari Shagari, former governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna; former governor of Kwara State, Abdulfattah Ahmed; ex-Minister of Sports, Damishi Sango; Senator Idris Ahmed Umar; and two former deputy governors of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi and Simon Achuba.
But Onanuga accused Dogora of losing his mind since his failure to clinch the APC Vice Presidential ticket.
He added that, “The claim was totally fraudulent. Yakubu Dogara, the peripatetic and politically unstable politician who organised the meeting left our party officially and unceremoniously weeks ago. And those who attended the meeting were representing themselves, their selfish agenda, not Northern Christians.
“Before then, the former speaker had spearheaded a campaign of vitriol and hate against our party, using religion as camouflage, after he lost the vice-presidential candidacy to a better qualified Senator Kashim Shettima,” he pointed out.
According to him, “A careful reading of the people who attended the unholy meeting he called also showed that they were all PDP members, masquerading as APC members. We were not surprised by the resolutions adopted. Our surprise was that the media failed to read through their smokescreen.
“The APC PCC wondered how the assembly of strange bedfellows hoped to foster unity and cohesion in our country, when their candidate represents the antithesis of the goal, having emerged the greatest divider of our polity, between the north and south.
“All Nigerians are aware that Atiku’s emergence as the PDP presidential candidate grossly violated a power rotation code between the north and the south. His insistence on snatching and retaining what rightly belongs to another political region has triggered a crisis within his party, making him run from Port Harcourt to London to mend fences.
“We want to assure Dogara and his co-travellers fanning hate campaigns against our Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate that they will fail spectacularly at the polls.
“From the engagements our leaders have had with men of all faiths, bigotry will not win next February election. What will prevail are the track records of our candidates and the solution-driven and all-inclusive progressive programmes the candidates offer Nigerians,” Onanuga said.