North Central APC rejects Muslim-Muslim ticket, says Lalong is a betrayal

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A coalition of Christian groups under the aegis of North Central Youths and Women Forum, on Tuesday, took to the streets in Abuja in protest against the appointment of the Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, as the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council.
The protesters who are members of the APC from the six North-Central States and the Federal Capital Territory, in their numbers, marched to the Presidential Villa to submit a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the Muslim-Muslim ticket adopted by the APC.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions expressing their rejection of the APC Muslim-Muslim ticket and the appointment of Lalong. Some of the play cards reads: Dear Asiwaju…keep your DG, give us a Christian VP, all Christians in the APC say no to DGship,” “Lalong is a Judas,” “Lalong is a betrayal,” “Lalong is on his own”, “We say No to DGship, give us our VP slot”, “On North Central Christian vice-presidential candidate we stand”, etc.
Speaking during the protest, leader of the group, Dauda Yakubu, said various indices at play so far within the APC did not suggest that the Christians from northern Nigeria were considered in the party’s affairs.
He described Lalong’s appointment as an insult to the North-Central region, insisting that stakeholders would only accept the position of the Vice President.
Yakubu maintained that the APC had neglected advice from concerned stakeholders by nominating a northern Muslim as the party’s vice-presidential candidate.
He said APC stakeholders from
the zone, especially northern Christians, felt humiliated by the actions of the party’s leadership in recent times.
Yakubu said: “We feel the appointment of Governor Lalong as the Director General of the Presidential Campaign Council is an insult to our collective sensibilities as a devoted party faithful in the North-Central.
“Mr. President may wish to remember that in the affairs of the party, the North-Central zone has demonstrated an unalloyed commitment to the growth and development of the party. But what has the North-central received in return?
“We came from far and near to witness first-hand, the news making the rounds that you indeed, sanctioned the Muslim-Muslim ticket of our party.
“There have also been insinuations that the vice-presidential ticket was not given to a northern Christian because you supported it.
“We know you to be an advocate of unity, ethnic and religious inclusion. But again, we are short of words with the news making the rounds, hence, this open letter in a protest march to hear from you that you were indeed in support of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“This is on the heels that as stakeholders of our party, we have consistently advocated for Governor Lalong as the party’s vice-presidential candidate because he possesses all the necessary qualities. But to our dismay, he was appointed as the DG of the Presidential Campaign Council.
“So many questions are left unanswered in our minds regarding the position of the party in the interest of northern Christians. We beg to ask the question that, if a northern Christian is good enough to lead the Presidential Campaign Council, why then is a northern Christian not good enough to be nominated as the vice presidential-candidate of our party?
“It is our considered position that the lines are not connecting for us as stakeholders of the party in the North-Central zone of the country. And consequently, we demand explanations as to why our interests have been jettisoned using a yardstick that defeats common sense.”
Yakubu said further that the APC was the only party that did not consider the country’s religious sensitivity in the composition of its presidential team.
He called on the APC leadership to convene an emergency meeting to reflect the wishes and interests of northern Christians in the composition of the presidential team for the 2023 presidential election.

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