A former Minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, Solomon Dalung has accused the All Progressives Congress of having a hidden agenda with the Muslim-Muslim ticket it is flying.
Dalung who is now the Social Democratic Party’s candidate for the House of Representatives, Langtang North/Langtang South Federal Constituency of Plateau state, said the APC has introduced a dimension that is going to make it impossible for it to be an option for Nigerians to consider.
The former Minister also described the ticket as the highest manifestation of religious intolerance and insensitivity to the sentiments of Nigerians.
He said in an interview with Punch;
I don’t think so. It is going to be a serious and herculean task for the party to win because, apart from squandering the goodwill of managing the country in the past seven years, the APC has also introduced a dimension that is going to make it impossible for it to be an option for Nigerians to consider. If it had performed, Nigerians would have overlooked the issue of the same religious ticket it introduced.
It’s the highest manifestation of religious intolerance and insensitivity to the sentiments of Nigerians and an attack on our diversity that has squandered the goodwill of Nigeria.
Dalung also accused APC Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu of playing the script of an unpatriotic political elite that uses religion to manipulate people and access power.
The reason why he thought of changing this tradition is that it creates more fear than the ticket itself because it means he has something he is hiding away from Nigerians.
What I suspect he may be hiding from Nigerians is that he may be playing the script of an unpatriotic political elite that uses religion to manipulate people and access power.
In reality, they are not religious people because, once they form a government, they use nepotism to appoint family members, in-laws, and other unqualified people to strategic government positions. Their children will be marrying each other and their cronies using the state’s funds.
That does not resemble an agenda for national development; an understanding that there is endemic poverty; hunger; and unemployment ravaging everywhere.
For me, there is a hidden agenda that they are playing the religious card to get power just for the sake of getting power and using it irresponsibly. If they get the power, then they will now manifest their real intentions.
When asked if Christians in APC will boycott the party over the Muslim-Muslim ticket, Dalung said;
When you introduce religion, you have to also define your friends, opponents, and allies. Assuming the Muslims in Nigeria believe that they are the majority, there are three major religions in Nigeria, which are Christianity, Islam, and the traditional religion. The question that Muslims or those supporting the Muslim-Muslim ticket would have to deal with is, will the traditionalists go with Islam or Christianity? The certain answer will be that the traditionalists will go with the Christians despite their differences.
This is because the Islamic fundamentalist groups that have emerged and been attacking people in Nigeria have painted Islam in a bad light in the eyes of ignorant Nigerians.
Thus, it would be very easy for politicians to manipulate religion and whip up sentiments. I want to assure you that Muslims marry four women. Traditionalists marry more than four, some even 10 or 20. The most populated religion in Nigeria has not spoken, and because of that, we are jostling about claiming superiority in figures because we gather on Friday and Sunday. I know for a fact that there is a man in my local government, a traditionalist, who has 87 eligible voters in his house and you can count them. Once you deploy religion, other religions will look for their allies and align, and either way, whether the Christians lose or win, or the Muslims win or lose, Nigeria is not going to be the same.
So it’s a very dangerous experiment that is facing the current Nigerian situation.