Supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the auspices of League of Concerned Christian Youth in the APC have said the party is on a suicide mission for sticking to the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket for the 2023 elections.
The group said on Tuesday, Septemeber 6, that the decision by the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to choose Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate portrayed the party in a bad light before Nigerians.
The convener of the APC-LCCY, Patrick Maiyaki, during a media briefing, stressed the need for the leadership of the party to substitute Shettima with a Christian, saying it would guarantee victory for the party in next year poll.
Maiyaki said: “It is our considered opinion that the leadership of the party must come to terms with the reality that is fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the presidential elections would be a suicide mission that must be aborted as soon as practicable if the APC is desirous of electoral success at the presidential election.
“The implication of the APC losing the presidential election cannot be overemphasized, hence the need for the party’s leadership to act with utmost honesty and sincerity of heart and purpose to realize that the Muslim-Muslim Ticket would work against the party in the presidential elections.
“As a group, we believe all hope is not lost as the chances of the APC would be bolstered should the leadership of the party effect a change in the composition of the party’s presidential Ticket.”
According to him, the fact that Nigerians have randomly rejected the Muslim-Muslim ticket before the election indicates that the outcome of the presidential elections would not be any different.
He said: “We wish to state that the APC is blessed with an array of Christian candidates that can complement the presidential Ticket with the utmost respect to the vice presidential candidate of the party, Senator Kashim Shettima.
“We are therefore using this medium to appeal to the leadership of the party to take advantage of the opportunity to make a replacement for the vice presidential candidate of the party before the expiration of the deadline issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“It behoves the party’s leadership to act before the 20th of September when the Independent National Electoral Commission is expected to publish the final list of presidential candidates for the 2023 presidential elections.
“As concerned stakeholders of the party, our support for the party remains unflinching. This much we have exhibited on numerous forums, conferences and other public engagements across the country. Our emphasis remains on how to win the elections for the party.”
The agitation came 24 hours after a coalition of stakeholders of the party from the North East and North Central demanded that the APC should revisit its choice of Shettima and Governor Simon Lalong as vice-presidential candidate and Director-General of its campaign organisation.
The Secretary-General of the APC stakeholders, Dauda Yakubu, said the leadership of the APC must address the alleged marginalisation of christians in the party before September 20, slated by Independent National Electoral Commission to publish the final list of candidates for presidential election.
Yakubu said the choice of Shettima as running mate to Tinubu amounted to insensitivity and utter disrespect for the ethnic and religious plurality of the country.