A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, has said the adoption of the same faith ticket by the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) is targeted to create further division in the north.
In an interview with ARISE TV on Wednesday, Lawal said all well-meaning Nigerians should not allow it to succeed.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had released its final list of prospective presidential and national assembly candidates for the 2023 general election just hours before he made his statement.
The APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu from the southwest and his running mate, Kashim Shettima from the northeast are Muslims.
The Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling party has been generating mixed reactions from across the country.
Lawal said, “We started the problem and our opposition to the Muslim-Muslim ticket because we think they are planning to introduce religion into politics because of over-ambitious, self-serving leader and politician.
“The introduction of a Muslim-Muslim ticket by the APC or same-faith ticket is a wicked plan to further create divisions within the north. We try as leaders of societies to live as brothers and sisters, but out of the blue, this demonic proposition just came out of the blue.
“For all lovers of unity in this country, in the north in particular where we are most affected, this ticket must never succeed. And we will make sure we defeat it in such a resounding manner that nobody in his right senses will ever think about it again, at least in the near future for our political journey in Nigeria.
“So, we are set on it and we are determined to kill it. Our people are mobilised, and our people are ready for the election.
“I and (Yakubu) Dogara (a former Speaker of the House of Representatives) alone aren’t the only ones involved in this. Indeed, we are leaders of groups of about 40 leading Christian politicians in the north. We started work on this years back when we suspected that if a Muslim emerges from the south as the candidate for any of the political parties, there is a risk of what has happened that will happen.
“Now, there are two issues here. First and foremost, we are politicians and our job is to win elections and form government. Second, when we looked at this ticket and decided principally, it excludes northern Christians from governance. It will not be wise for us to hand ourselves and exclude ourselves from the incoming government.”
“So, while we plan that the same faith ticket of APC should fail, we also believe that we should align with one of the leading political parties that has the chance of winning.
“Our strategy is we will not just waste our votes because we want to protest the same faith ticket of APC. We will like to partner with another group that is more sensible to the Nigerian situation and realises that Nigeria needs harmony, unity and peace,” he added.