By Babachir David
Quite a number of Nigerians have reached out to Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara and I and to some of the leaders in our eminent group of Northern Christian politicians to sheath our swords and instead go for negotiations with the APC. I now want to respond to this.
We have so far not taken the road to reconciliation because in the first instance, neither the APC as a party nor its presidential candidate has bothered to seek us out for reconciliation even though early on, our doors were left open for such. We only get to learn of their views through vile propaganda in the media courtesy of their rabid attack hogs whom they have procured in abundance. There are of course some “Christian” turncoats and “Judases” who, driven either by moral turpitude, poverty or greed, have hired themselves out as agents and spoilers of this noble Christian course. To this group, I wish to recommend the study of the biographies of Judas Iscariot and Ahithophel in the Bible. Be careful to note how their lives ended.
It seems that Bola/Kashima’s preferred approach is to attempt to counter our position through insults and sponsored fake Christian organizations in order to create the impression that there is division within the Christendom on this matter. Needless to say, this tactic has failed woefully. They are now the but of jokes in church gatherings all over the country. Unknown to them Church history emphatically records that Christians are more united in terms of adversity and persecution as now being propelled by this MM ticket of the APC.
This approach has also portrayed the duo as arrogant and pitiable people whilst also exposing them to the public as people with unimaginable deficiencies of noble character. The reality is that for each minute that this same-faith ticket duo have spent on their goebellsian propaganda, they have ended up spending several hours more trying to rebut the controversies that they themselves create in the process. Every one, including some notable Christian haters are now inviting false “Bishops” and “CAN” Leaders to meetings. They are busy fabricating overnight “christian” organizations that churn out falsehood to the public. It is such a pity that people who intend to lead our country could descend to such low levels of morality and deficiency of conscience.
But belying this posture is the reality of their true intentions not to have any roles for northern Christians in their government. The unarguable fact is that they intend to offer nothing of significance to any northern Christian in an APC government anticipated to be led by Bola and Kashim. The reality of their zoning arrangement is that the North East region is already out of the equation for any other posts because it has the Vice Presidency while the North Central too is out because they have the party’s National Chairmanship. The other key positions, The Senate President, the Speaker, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff to the President positions have been zoned to the North West, South South, South East and South West regions respectively. Besides, we all know that there is and will be no ranking christian Senator or House of Rep member from the North West that could occupy the seats of Senate President, Speaker or even their deputies. In any case, it is an open secret that they never allow Christians to occupy such positions in the North West Zone even if there is a qualified Christian.
Who then do they think they are fooling with this their “there are other positions in government that could go to the northern Christians” mantra? If Kashim Shetima worked determinedly with Bola Tinubu’s acquiescence to deny the northern Christians the Deputy National Chairman (North) position during the party’s National Convention, what magic will then compel them to give a northern Christian any significant posts in their government? Let us make no mistake about it; these guys will persecute us to no end. They are very well practiced in this.
My dear Christians, it has been clear to us from the onset that APC, Bola and Kashim never had the intention or plan that offers the Northern Christians any sense of inclusion through any tangible roles in their government. Those with major political influence on them are mostly religious bigots of the hegemonist flavor and some self-centered sycophants of the evil kind. So instead of reconciliation which would involve offering some important positions to Northern Christians, they have decided to go for broke and ignore the interests of Christians of the north. And, broken they will be indeed. We noticed this trend in APC right from its registration in 2014 up to the 2022 convention where the overriding goal seemed to have been to exclude northern Christians from all the organs of the party.
How any one expects APC to win the 2023 presidential election under this climate befuddles the mind. I do not know why this saying keeps coming to mind: “those whom the gods want to destroy, they first make mad” but it bears restating. It is a pity that Bola has chosen to throw away the Presidency which was within his easy reach to grab.
As for us northern Christians and other Nigerians who share in our vision of a united and peaceful Nigeria devoid of tribal and religious exclusion, we will continue with our struggle and are very very confident of victory. After all, the God who allowed Nigeria to be inhabited by a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society intended that we all should live in peace and harmony as brothers and sisters all created in the image of God. We are on a mission from God and are confident of victory. So, we fear no one and can be intimidated by no one. We are confident that Nigerians, especially sensible Northern Nigerians, will come to appreciate this fight for justice, equality and peaceful co-existence. We are buoyed by Psalm 2:1-4 which reads thus:
“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take council together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying ‘let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us’. He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derisions” (ESV).
“A luta continua victoria ascerta” (FRELIMO)
…Babachir David is a former SGF