A support-group, The Asiwaju Progressive Movement, TAPM, has said that the 2023 election will not be about religion, but about competence in leadership.
The group stated this over the weekend in Lagos following a statement credited to former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.
In a statement by its spokesman, Joshua Owoyomi, the group claimed that the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was not in the presidential race as candidate of any religion, but as a national candidate who was out for unification and not division.
“Asiwaju is out to unite a nation not to divide it along religious lines. Mr Lawal and his crew had better wake up and smell the coffee, this election is not about religious differences but national unity,” it said.
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The group, in a statement by its spokesperson, Joshua Owoyomi, noted that it was disturbed by the activities of a self-serving group, APC northern Christian leaders, led by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal.
Berating Babachir Lawal, whom it described as a failed administrator, the group opined that his position was sequel to his failure to secure the vice presidential ticket of the party.
“We understand the disappointment of Mr. Babachir Lawal after being overlooked for the position of the vice presidential candidate of the APC; he is free to be disappointed and lick his wounds. However, it is disappointing and disturbing that someone who with his own mouth had on many occasions spoken of how Muslims had helped his life positively is now the same person raising religious issues and trying to fan religious intolerance all because of politics and election,” the statement reads.
The group said the coming election was beyond religion, warning politicians like Lawal, to bury the idea of de-marketing Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the back of religious sentiments.
“It is unfortunate that Mr Lawal is still in the class of politicians who think they can use religion to manipulate the people. How can he and his likes think they can use religion to de-market a man who as a Muslim is proudly married to a Christian Pastor who is freely practising her Christianity without intimidation from her husband? How come Mr. Lawal and his group are not thoughtful enough to know that it is difficult to use religion to truncate the ambition of a man who as governor had many Christians in his inner circle and never used religion as a factor to choose who would work with him or not? It is sad that anger, bitterness and frustration has blinded Mr. Lawal and co and made them unable to see that a man who started a Christian thanksgiving service to open the working year as Governor in Lagos State cannot be classified as an enemy of the Christian community now because some people’s personal interest and ego has been brushed.”
“Let it be known to Mr. Lawal and his crew that the boat has sailed, it is either they find a way to come on board or they stay at the shore and rant till the little group relevance they have is totally lost.”