BusinessDay

APC to address Muslim-Muslim ticket controversy before election – Adamu

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, has assured that the party will work to reconcile its members before the 2023 general election.

This is just as the as the chairman described the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket as a “positive development” for the country’s politics.

Adamu stated this on Thursday while briefing State House journalists, at the Presidential Villa, after the Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu on Thursday, presented his campaign team led by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state to President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsement.

The team, led by the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, met with the President behind closed doors.

Adamu announced that while Governor Lalong will serve as the Director General of the Tinubu Campaign Council, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Kayamo will serve as the Campaign Council Spokesman.

“We are here today to see Mr. President Muhammadu Buhari to brief him and to get his buy-in and approval of plans that we are having regarding our campaign outfits. So, we’re on the same page with Mr. President regarding our organogram and the individuals that are going to be playing different roles within the organisation structure in the campaign outfits.

The person who is going to be the Director-General of the APC presidential campaign organisation is his excellency seated by my left here, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State. He will lead the campaign.

“We have a campaign organisation in the person of Festus Keyamo. The Deputy spokesperson will be Hannatu Musawa.”

Adamu, in his response to the question on the same Faith ticket, admitted that the party had been inundated with concerns over the issue.

According to him, “ In the APC, we believe very strongly, that no matter what description, no matter what faith you will associate with any one of our candidates, we are first and foremost Nigerians.

Read also: 2023 elections and the psychology of public expectations in Nigeria

“There is no doubt in the fact that we have people who stock trade on some of these religious issues. Just like you have people expressing fears, or concerns about a Muslim-Muslim ticket, there are Christians that welcome it as a positive development, in Nigerian politics. They are Nigerians,” he said.

“We are extremely sensitive to some of these sensitivities of fellow Nigerians or fellow members of our party. But the fact of the matter is, one issue does not determine a candidate or determine victory.

“The party has taken a very careful deep look at the Nigerian situation and the political space. And we believe very strongly that notwithstanding the expression that we’re hearing, we will be working on amicable solutions to the sentiment and we’re very sure by the grace of God we’ll put them to rest before the elections,” he said.

Asked how he will market the candidature of Tinubu and Shettima, despite the growing anger amongst the Christian community,

Lalong said “I’m not a Christian candidate. I was not nominated as a Christian candidate. The party said I’ve been nominated because of my ability. I’ve been a very loyal member of the party. I joined APC because I believe in APC.

“Second, I’m not only the Governor of Plateau, I’m chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum. So I am able to carry out leadership in any capacity. I only want to express to you that I am surprised that I’m being announced now. I am sure we’ll not disappoint you.”

The party’s Vice-Presidential Candidate, Kashim Shettima, blamed the opposition parties for heightening the fears of Christians over the same-faith arguments

He recalled that In 2011, the presidential candidate and the vice-presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), were Muslims.

According to him, “Nobody raised an eyebrow. Now, the opposition have seen a winning combination and they are petrified, deep down to the marrow of their bones.

“We will not trade in insults, lies and mischief. We have established a track record of excellence. Let our opponents show what they have done in their respective states. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s discuss issues.

“How to propel this nation to greatness is much more important than playing on the sentiments of Nigerians. Poverty knows no religion or ethnicity. Insecurity knows no religion or ethnicity.”

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