The All Progressives Congress, on Monday, took strong exception to what it called the ploy by the Peoples Democratic Party to portray the North as a region blinded by religious sentiment when it comes to electing Nigeria’s political leaders.
The party was reacting to a statement credited to the Director of Strategic Communication of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Dele Momodu, who while giving reasons for a possible victory of his party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said the North would not vote for a “fake Muslim”.
“The North will not vote for a ‘fake Muslim’ in the name of a pretentious and mischievous Muslim/Muslim ticket. The scam is dead on arrival,” Momodu said.
But reacting to the remark, the APC Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, said those who see the North from the prism of religion during electioneering are nothing but poor students of history.
He said, “People are playing politics with reality. Traditionally, the North does not vote based on religion or ethnicity. Recall that in 1993, the North voted massively for the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale, MKO Abiola. That is not to say they voted for him because he was a Muslim. The same North voted massively for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and they didn’t vote on the basis of religion. Jonathan contested against Atiku who is a Muslim from the North and won. The North does not vote on the sentiment of section or religion; they vote based on merit.
“The North is politically advanced to be able to differentiate merit from mediocrity. The APC is campaigning based on issues, not religion or section and our candidate, Bola Tinubu will win with a landslide,” he said.
On his part, spokesman for the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, carpeted the PDP campaign council for going “extremely low,” stressing that the attempt to whip up religious sentiments will count against the main opposition party during the election.
“These people have gone extremely low and it shows the level of their desperation for power. What they have done is complete heresy. All they are trying to do is to wipe up religious sentiments to sway votes, but it is not going to work.
“All these years that Asiwaju has been giving alms, they did not say he was a fake Muslim. He has given more alms than Atiku. He performed Hajj all the time and they didn’t see him as a fake Muslim. How can a Christian from the South say that the North will not vote for another Muslim because he is not a proper Muslim? If a Muslim from the North rises today and says a Christian in the South is not a proper Christian, what will happen? Of course, there will be a wide condemnation of such. Nigerians have gone beyond this pettiness, and they will show that on February 25,” he said.