Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that Muslim Muslim ticket is a recipe for disaster.
Speaking in Jos while gracing the 2023 extra-ordinary General Church Council, GCC of the Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA, Atiku asked Christians to have confidence in him, adding that they stand to gain a lot from him.
The former Vice President, who was represented by former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, encouraged Nigerians of different religious backgrounds to live in peace and harmony.
He said: “A divided Nigeria cannot achieve the purpose of God for us as a people. A divided country will only keep us in darkness and disunity. All through my life, I have lived and worked harmoniously with people of other faiths and ethnic affiliations with ease because of mutual understanding and respect. My business and political partners come from different backgrounds with zero expressions of religious or ethnic sentiments. I have never contemplated same faith ticket throughout my political career. The Muslim Muslim ticket adopted by some people is a recipe for disaster. It is an indication that not everyone will be carried along in government. As Governor- elect of Adamawa in 1999, I gave my full backing to Boni Haruna to take over when I was nominated Vice President against all odds.
“Boni governed Adamawa for 8 interrupted years. In Taraba, Rev Jolly Nyame was encouraged to contest the Governorship in 1999 just after loosing the local government primary elections. We have and are working together with many Christians across the nation and the Church should have confidence in my capacity, experience and ability to deliver”.
The PDP Presidential candidate also expressed his appreciation Christians all over the nation for their prayers and commitment to the nation and assured that he will not relent in cementing a cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims all the time.
“The church stands to get a lot under my watch as President of this nation if elected. Knowing the significance and importance of unity in peace and development, I will do everything possible to sustain and consolidate it. Any society that is not united will suffer. We have no reason to divide ourselves for whatever reason. A divided Nigeria cannot take us anywhere. If Nigeria is divided, both Christians and Muslims will suffer. Together with Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as Vice President, we will take Nigeria to greater heights”, he said.
Atiku also commended the ECWA for sustaining the annual extra- ordinary GCC Council meeting, adding that where progress and developments were reviewed and new working strategies are adopted.
Speaking for himself, Dogara urged Christians to take stock of what each presidential candidate had done for Northern Christians and meditate on it.
Quoting copiously from the Bible, Dogara likened Atiku to the popular centurion servant in the Bible, whose faith was acknowledged by Jesus because of his determination to help across divides.
He said they settled for Atiku following a scientific analysis of the various candidates which was carried openly and which presented Atiku as the leading candidate in the contest.
He apologized for the absence of Atiku and Okowa at the occasion, saying they were in Ekiti for the nationwide presidential rally.
“Do not waste your votes by casting them elsewhere. We believe very strongly in coming together and living together. The Muslim- Muslim ticket is not an option at all. It does not give room for mutual understanding, unity , peace and stability. Atiku has great respect for northern Christians hence his choice of a Christian to deputize for him. We know him as a good man who has contributed in building the brethren and the church even as a Muslim. He does not segregate and his experience and abilities speaks for him all the time.
“This period of gross darkness hovering over the nation must be overcome. We keep surviving one catastrophe and jumping to the other. Darkness is an evidence of the absence of light. We must lighten our lights and let them shine. Atiku remains the Pan Nigeria candidate that has what it takes to move this nation forward by uniting us across the various divides we have found ourselves. Based on the scientific analysis inclusive of CAN leadership, we arrived at the choice of this man as a candidate to beat in the coming elections.”
In his remark, the President of ECWA, Rev Dr. Stephen Baba Panya appreciated Atiku for finding time to give attention to what the church auditorium was doing and for sending eminent political leaders to grace the church’s GCC meeting.
He said the church was watching, monitoring and listening to all the candidates and will take decision according according to its conviction soon.