By Yakubu Dati : Three months ago, when the duo of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir Lawal and former Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara started their hoopla about championing the interest of northern Christians shortly after the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flag bearer, Bola Ahmed Tinubu picked Alhaji Kashim Shettima as his running mate, I stated that their claim was only a hoax to cover up some abiding self serving interests.
I insisted in the piece entitled, ‘Babachir, Dogara: Unmasking the Judas dragging CAN to disrepute’, that the concerns of the duo were not about the collective interest of northern Christians but a sour grape that neither of them was picked as running mate to Tinubu.
With the latest development coming from their camps, the chicken is finally home to roost with the duo, who claimed to be working in the interest of northern Christians going their separate ways by pursuing self serving interests.
Few weeks ago, the former SFG, claiming to be working in the collective interest of the Forum of Christian and Muslim Political Leaders from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), announced that the group is throwing its weight behind the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi.
Few days after he made that declaration however, his co-traveller, Dogara issued a statement saying Babachir spoke only for himself and not for the group and promised that the group would issue a statement indicating its collective interest not long after that.
On Friday, Dogara lived up to his promise and came out with what he wants us to believe is the true position of the Forum saying they have adopted the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as consensus candidate for the 2023 election.
At this stage, it is pertinent to ask who between the two truly represents the forum and whose interests they’re representing.
Is it Babachir who wants us to believe that the forum has chosen Peter Obi or Dogara who says it is Atiku?
This is what I had tried to warn the general public especially northern Christians about as early as September when I advised that we should be wary of the duo as at the end, what would play out is the self interest.
What is happening now has vindicated my position that their disagreements with the Tinubu/Shettima ticket has nothing to do with principle but purely a result of personal interests.
As it is, the APC has remained the only party all out to serve the collective interest of Nigerians regardless of ethnicity or religion.
This is why as the other parties and groups hostile to the APC ticket seem to be lacerated and thrown into confusion by the minute, the Tinubu/Shettima ticket is waxing stronger by the day.
First to go down is the PDP where five governors have pulled out of the Atiku/ Okowa presidential campaign and have formed their own group to directly oppose the ambition of Atiku.
Their exit from the Atiku campaign is already taking a heavy toll on the party with many leaders identifying with the oppositional stand of the Integrity Group and voters seeing through the inability of the PDP presidential candidate to unite the country.
It is a case of a man who claims to be the unifier who could not even unite his own party members.
Secondly is the brouhaha in the Labour Party where there is a turmoil and key officials of the party have been suspended while the fate of its presidential candidate as a bona fide member of the party still remains uncertain.
As if that was enough to show division and strife in the camp of those Babachir and Dogara want to take northern Christians to, the very group they belong to has also showed it is in quandary with two of its prominent members going separate ways on their choice of presidential candidates.
What more can one add other than to advise northern Christians to take a cue from what is happening to the Babachir/Dogara group to realise that the duo are not out to serve their interests but to negotiate deals for themselves.
Voters may wish to compare the strife and kerfuffle in the other parties with the peace and cohesion in the APC.
Since Lalong assumed leadership of the campaign council, he has been able to unite leaders of the party and had been able to draw the minds of the voting public to real issues about governance rather than religious sentiment.
It is to his credit that people no longer talk about same faith ticket but the ability to lead the country with purpose driven vision.
Northern Christians and all lovers of Nigeria can now see from what is happening that only one party enjoys massive support across the country and has the ability to unite and develop Nigeria and that is the APC.
***Yakubu Dati was a former Commissioner of Information in Plateau State