”To worry about a Muslim-Christian ticket while counselling others not to worry about a Muslim-Muslim ticket is the very textbook definition of cognitive dissonance and an attempt at gaslighting gullible Christians. Truth must be told that anyone who is not bringing us together is consciously tearing us apart.”
….Says argument that no Christian competent enough for VP is hogwash
By Adesuwa Tsan
365Daily – Immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has blasted the All Progressives Congress (APC) over its Muslim-Muslim presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the 2023 elections, saying it will end up causing more divisions among Nigerians.
He also faulted arguments that there is no Christian from northern Nigeria that is competent enough to win votes for the party.
Dogara, a christian from Bauchi State, is a member of the APC.
Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a Muslim and former Lagos State Governor, had won the ticket of the party to stand for election as president of Nigeria in 2023. He would later unveil Sen. Kashim Shettima, a muslim and former Borno State Governor, as his running mate.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday, July 29, 2022, as a guest speaker at the APC Northern Christian Leaders Summit, on the theme ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people’, which had eminent religious leaders and top-notch politicians from across all the states of the federation in attendance, he spoke on how political choices may impact the Christian faith and likely exacerbate the escalating parlous security situation and stymie the nation’s match towards an inclusive, peaceful and prosperous nation.
While emphasising that he holds no grudge against the presidential flagbearer of the APC, Sen. Bola Tinubu and his vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, he stressed that his position on their choices is about what is right and what is wrong.
He stated: ”It is about justice, fairness and equity. It is about Nigeria; it’s diversity and how it can be harnessed in an inclusive manner for the greater good of all of us. Be that as it may, some of us really wanted Asiwaju to be president because he has sacrificed much for our Party, the APC and for what he represents to so many people. So, our position cannot be against Muslims or Islam. That fact cannot be denied in any way.
”But when it comes to choosing between the love and admiration I have for an individual and what is right and what I believe represents my vision for Nigeria, my choice will clearly be for the latter. After all, my rise to the position of Speaker was never going to be possible without the support of some Muslim members who believe that our diversity must be reflected in national positions for the unity, peace and advancement of our dear country.
”What gives me more hope about the Nigeria project is that there are many of our Muslim brothers and leaders who did not only warn the APC, but have had to call out the APC for adopting a Muslim-Muslim ticket which resulted into the Party ructions we are witnessing today.”
Dogara said the present configuration of the ruling party makes it difficult to defend against the allegation that it is one that promotes muslims and marginalises christians.
He noted: ”In 2015, when we were called ‘janjeweed party’, my response was usually very simple. I could then say that, HE John Oyegun was the chairman of my party and my Vice-Presidential candidate was Pastor Yemi Osinbajo.
”We don’t enjoy that luxury anymore as the President, Senate President, Speaker and his deputy; Senate and House Leaders; National Chairman and the Deputy National Chairman; Presidential and the Vice-Presidential candidates are all Muslims, leaving the Christians with just the position of VP Osibanjo and Deputy Senate President Omo-Agege at that level in a Country whose population is fairly split between Muslims and Christians.
”Granted this scenario, can any God-fearing Muslim, Christian nay even the amoral and the atheist say this is fair, just and righteous? Does this represent the act of a just God? This is the real context of objections from the Christian community not just the Presidential ticket and the VP slot.”
The Lawmaker who represents Bogoro, Dass and Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency added that the same faith ticket portends danger for the unity of the Nigerian people.
In his words: ”For me, it is a rude awakening and I am so happy it happened sooner than later. The very fact that they said we should not worry about a Muslim-Muslim ticket while a Muslim-Christian ticket gave them sleepless nights should make you worry the more.
”To worry about a Muslim-Christian ticket while counselling others not to worry about a Muslim-Muslim ticket is the very textbook definition of cognitive dissonance and an attempt at gaslighting gullible Christians. Truth must be told that anyone who is not bringing us together is consciously tearing us apart.
”Furthermore, I do not want to speak to the argument that there is no Christian competent enough to be Vice-President because as we all know, that is hogwash. It only speaks to the need to deliberately exclude – whereas the need now is for inclusion.”
Dogara faulted reports in the media which claim that without a northern Muslim on the ticket, elections cannot be won, saying the implications of that argument are quite unambiguous. He queried “‘Northern Muslims don’t vote for the South – even if the candidate is a Muslim like them – and, of course, don’t vote for Christians. However, nothing can be further from the truth. If you stretch this argument further, it may lead to questions such as, ‘if Muslims in the North don’t trust a southern Muslim for any reason(s), why should Christians in Nigeria trust a Muslim from the South and North?’ These are the kinds of arguments I hate to engage in and which we must avoid if we hope not to injure the health of our Republic.
”Other unhelpful framings of the debate by the so-called pundits posits that Christians in the North are so small in number that their votes don’t count. This strange argument seeks to reinforce the satanic agenda of dividing the church in Nigeria into North and South, and also ignores the fact and reality that Nigeria is evenly split on religious lines.
”These pundits are still not smart enough to tell us what is in the Muslim-Muslim ticket for southern Christians. The argument also ignores the fact that our official policy excludes religious affiliation from census data. There is therefore no scientific basis for these bizarre conclusions. Let us now look at a model for managing diversity.”