Saturday, 9th December 2023

SWAGA chides Atiku over criticism of APC’s muslim-muslim ticket

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado-Ekiti
06 August 2022   |   5:50 am
The National Chairman of the South West Agenda (SWAGA) 2023, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, yesterday, said the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar...

Nigerian former Vice President Atiku Abubakar speaks during the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) primaries in Abuja, on May 28, 2022.(Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The National Chairman of the South West Agenda (SWAGA) 2023, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, yesterday, said the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has no moral justification for condemning the choice of Kashim Shettima as the running mate for presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He said the PDP candidate supported the Muslim-Muslim ticket in 1993 with his moves to be the running mate of MKO Abiola, adding that the APC’s choice of Shettima was the masterstroke that has put the opposition party in panicking mode ahead of the next year’s election.

Adeyeye, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Friday during an event to receive members of opposition parties in the state into SWAGA, allayed the fears of the Christian faithful on the Muslim-Muslim ticket that Tinubu was a liberal person who would not discriminate against other religion in the country.

At the event, members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Accord Party, PDP, National Rescue Movement (NRM) and the Chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Ifedayo Iyaniwura, signaled their readiness to work for the victory of Tinubu during the February presidential poll.

The former Senate spokesman explained that the group would do everything possible to deliver majority of votes in Ekiti for the APC presidential candidate, who is ready to offer hopes to the people and improve their livelihood, saying that others from across political divides would be welcomed for the task he declared as the South West project.

He said, “We want everybody to come on board because this is not about a particular party. We have representatives of various political parties in this gathering wanting to work for the victory of Tinubu next year. Let me tell you that if we call these people today as APC member, they won’t have been here but we say it is South West Agenda for our principal, and that is the reason you can see the large turnout of people across party lines. That is why we see SWAGA as the vehicle to deliver most of the votes in the South West.

“Politics is a game of number and PDP can’t challenge us from the moral ground because their candidate, Atiku Abubakar believed in that ticket in 1993 as evidence has surfaced and don’t forget some of us were participants then.

We knew he wanted to be vice president to MKO Abiola. So, if he was struggling to be in the ticket in 1993, why will it be opposing it now? It was evident that he was going to pick a Christian from South because he is a Muslim from the North; it is easier for him.

“I want to allay the fears of our Christian brother because I am a Christian too and Tinubu is a man who is tolerant of other religions. This is a free-minded person, who will not discriminate against anyone. Take it, if Tinubu finds it difficult to Islamise his wife; is that the person that would islamise the country when the better half is a Christian and a pastor?

“I believe Tinubu-Shettima is a winning ticket and PDP is on a panic mode because they know we will have a repeat of history next year, where MKO Abiola won with a landslide, especially in the North. There is a way history repeat itself.”

On the perceived failures of the current APC-led government by the citizens, Adeyeye said the credentials and the track record of the presidential candidate when he was governor in Lagos and the trust Nigerians has in him would help in swaying the votes for the party.

He said, “In Nigeria politics today, people should look at the personalities of those contesting and look at their track records and assess them based on what they have done in the past. Tinubu is coming with huge credentials into this race.”