A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, has opened up on why he and a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, met with former military president, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, over the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Lawal and Dogara, who are top chieftains of the APC, had kicked against the selection of a former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, by the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as his running mate.
Recently, a summit of the APC Northern Christian Forum was held in Abuja, where representatives and delegates from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), rejected the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC.
Daily Trust reports that Lawal and Dogara have been engaging in high-powered consultations against the same-faith presidential ticket of the ruling party.
On Monday, they were in Minna, Niger State, where they met Babangida and former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar.
The meeting, according to Dogara’s media aide, Turaki Hassan, was also attended by a former deputy governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba.
In a phone interview with Daily Trust, Babachir, said though they were in Minna to greet retired General Abdulsalami, who just returned to the country from a medical trip, they also used the opportunity to visit General Babangida.
He also said the issue of the Muslim-Muslim ticket was discussed.
“But there is no way we will be there without the Muslim-Muslim ticket issue coming up. It came up and naturally we discussed it.
“For us Christians in the North, the Muslim-Muslim ticket is existential. It is designed to oppress, kill and eliminate us from the political and economic systems. There is no other reason. It was done to isolate us from any political, economic and educational benefits of this country.
“As a card-carrying member of the APC, it is the PVC that counts in this matter and not APC membership because the party’s card will not vote,” he said.
Asked whether they are mulling exit from the APC, Babachir said, apart from the BoT and NEC, myself and Dogara are members of all other organs of the party. We are APC, but even at that, you can choose what you want.
“Don’t forget that at the last campaign; even President Buhari said we should vote for the candidates of our choice. Has he rescinded that pronouncement? Party members will vote for their choice candidates,”
On his relationship with Tinubu after rejecting his choice of Shettima, he said, “Since I publicly opposed the ticket, Tinubu and I have not spoken. When two friends meet at a junction, they can decide to take different ways.”