Christians will be safe under my presidency, says Atiku
As Dogara reiterates opposition to Muslim-Muslim ticket
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has assured that Christians will be safe if he is voted as president.
Speaking at the 2023 General Church Council (GCC) of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) held in Jos, Plateau State, he maintained that he remains a unifier who believes in the integration of humanity, irrespective of ethnic and religious inclinations.
Represented by a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, he said God did not make any mistake in creating people and allowing them to belong to different backgrounds.
He said: “A divided Nigeria cannot achieve the purpose of God for us as a people. A divided country will only keep us in darkness and disunity. All through my life, I have lived and worked harmoniously with people of other faiths and ethnic affiliations with ease because of mutual understanding and respect.
“My business and political partners come from different backgrounds, with zero expressions of religious or ethnic sentiments. I have never contemplated same faith ticket throughout my political career. The Muslim-Muslim ticket adopted by some people is a recipe for disaster.
“It is an indication that not everyone will be carried along in government. As governor-elect of Adamawa in 1999, I gave my full backing to Boni Haruna to take over when I was nominated Vice President, against all odds. Boni governed Adamawa for eight years.
“We have and are working together with many Christians across the nation, and the Church should have confidence in my capacity, experience and ability to deliver.”
Atiku appreciated Christians for their prayers and commitment to the nation and assured that he would not relent in cementing a cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims all the time.
He noted: “The Church stands to gain a lot under my watch as president of this nation if elected. Knowing the significance and importance of unity in peace and development, I will do everything possible to sustain and consolidate it.
“Any society that is not united will suffer. We have no reason to divide ourselves for whatever reason. A divided Nigeria cannot take us anywhere. If Nigeria is divided, both Christians and Muslims will suffer.
Together, with Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as Vice President, we will take Nigeria to greater heights.” Dogara admonished Christians to take stock of what each presidential candidate has done for northern Christians and meditate on it.
Quoting copiously from the Bible, he likened Atiku to the popular centurion’s servant in the Bible, whose faith was acknowledged by Jesus because of his determination to help across divides.
Dogara said he settled for Atiku, following a scientific analysis of various candidates. He said: “Do not waste your votes by casting them elsewhere. We believe very strongly in coming together and living together. The Muslim-Muslim ticket is not an option at all. It does not give room for mutual understanding, unity, peace and stability.
“Atiku has great respect for northern Christians, hence his choice of a Christian to deputise for him. We know him as a good man who has contributed in building the brethren and the Church, even as a Muslim. He does not segregate and his experience and abilities speaks for him all the time.
“This period of gross darkness hovering over the nation must be overcome. We keep surviving one catastrophe and jumping to the other. Darkness is evidence of the absence of light. We must lighten our lights and let them shine.”