‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has bemoaned the former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and his PDP populated Northern Christian leaders group who have led a religious assault on the candidacy of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kassim Shettima.


The council also berated the former Speaker for not being a good sportsman having lost out on being on the party’s presidential ticket by resorting to whipping up emotions.


Reacting to the outcome of a purported meeting of Northern Christian Leaders in APC, the director, media and publicity of the Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga in a statement in Abuja on Monday described the meeting as “fraudulent” as well as the convener and attendees as “impostors”.


The council noted the former Speaker had spearheaded a campaign of vitriol and hate against the party, using religion as camouflage, after he lost the vice-presidential candidacy to Shettima.


The statement further reads: “The Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council is therefore not surprised by media reports about a meeting of some so-called Northern Christian leaders, who claimed to be members of our All Progressives Congress that were championed by Dogara and his ilks.


“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.


“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.


Among the politicians at the unholy consultative meeting were Mukhar Shagari, Boni Haruna, Abdulfattah Ahmed; Damishi Sango; Senator Idris Ahmed Umar; and two former deputy governors of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi and Simon Achuba. They are all PDP members working for the presidential ambition of Atiku Abubakar.”


Onanuga further said the council was not surprised by the resolutions adopted at the meeting but expressed concern 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 righly 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 campaign against our Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, that they will fail spectacularly at the polls.”


He further said: “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.


“Asiwaju Tinubu and Senator Shettima are going into this campaign with clear objectives to engage Nigerians across the socio-economic brackets on policy actions that will make their lives better. Our candidates will not exploit our country’s fault lines to win the election and sell religion as Kool-Aid.”