Northern Christians in the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the umbrella of the Concerned Northern APC Christians Forum, have called for total boycott of the party’s campaign over its adoption of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Their demand comes in the wake of the inauguration of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).
The Christians argued that the ruling party must jettison its current combination of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima to get the support of Christians.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on Sunday, General Secretary of the forum, Lukas Bako, described the inauguration of the campaign council as a mere charade, saying APC’s chances at the presidency is a failed mission.
He observed that under the current arrangement, Christians would suffer untold persecution under an APC government in Nigeria. Bako said Northern Christians stand with the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Noting: “Christians in the APC’s PCC are betrayers who have sold their conscience in return for a plate of porridge.”
The group urged the party leadership to “do the needful by replacing the vice presidential candidate with a Christian before the commencement of campaigns.”
It also advised Christians in the PCC to resign honourably in protest, until the needful is done.
Bako said: “APC must come to terms with the reality that northern Christians are indeed notable stakeholders in the APC, and their contributions to the growth and development of the party over the years cannot be overemphasized.
“It is our firm position that the issue of a Muslim-Muslim ticket has been treated with kid gloves by the leadership of the APC. This, in our considered opinion, is a gross disregard for the religious configuration of the country and the need to ensure a balanced ticket that would address the concerns and reservations of religious groups in the country.”
Bako noted further: “It remains a hard pill to swallow for the country’s Christian community, given APC’s action in fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 presidential elections.
We also find it worrisome that the APC has not deemed it necessary to address this genuine concern in the overarching objective of carrying all members of the APC family along in preparation for the 2023 presidential elections.
“The Northern APC Christians Forum is concerned that the APC leadership’s lack of respect for the Christians in northern Nigeria has reached an alarming crescendo, which could pass for a deliberate attempt to delineate the Christian population in the north.
“Our concern also stems from the fact that the action of the APC can breed distrust among the religious groupings in the country. It must be stated that, with the Muslim-Muslim ticket, northern Christians have been marginalised without recourse to the implication of such actions in the overall psyche of the people.
“The Forum is using this medium to reiterate that northern Christians won’t support the APC presidential ticket unless the leadership of the APC addresses its concerns.”