Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) presidential candidate, has referred to the group that includes former House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal, and others as a band of impostors.
This was as he declared that the former Speaker is no longer a member of the ruling party and so, cannot be said to be speaking for any group of APC members.
Tinubu was reacting to the outcome of a meeting convened by Dogara at the weekend with some Northern Muslim groups wherein the former speaker said they had resolved to work with their Muslim counterparts in the North to adopt one of the opposition presidential candidates in a bid to defeat APC’s same faith ticket.
Director, of Media and Publicity at the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Bayo Onanuga declared that “Dogara has apparently lost his mind since he could not realise his self-imposed ambition to be on the presidential ticket of All Progressives Congress”.
On account of this, Tinubu said the former speaker has certainly become a reprobate and demagogue, delivering hate speeches and whipping up emotions, with the aim of setting our country ablaze.
“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. The claim was totally fraudulent.
Dogara has left APC
“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 added.
Tinubu noted that 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.
“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 campaign 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.
“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”, he added.