The National Chairman, South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, has warned a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawan, against attacking the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 general elections, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, over the latter’s decision to pick another Muslim and former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, as his running mate.
Adeyeye, who said Babachir is Tinubu’s long standing friend, urged the ex-SGF to stop throwing the APC presidential candidate “under the bus.”
Speaking to select journalists in Abuja on Saturday, Adeyeye, a former Minister of State for Works, stated that it would be political suicide for Tinubu to have picked a Christian from the North as his running mate.
Adeyeye stated, “Let us establish one point, particularly in the North-East and the North-West, they constitute about 90 per cent of the population: I stand to be corrected.
“I am not talking of the entire North because the Middle Belt is another issue. But you know we can’t pick a candidate from the North-Central because the National Chairman (of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu) is already from there.
“So, if you are now left with two regions, which are the North-East and the North-West, these two areas, the population of Muslims is almost 90 per cent, to the extent that they believe that politics is part of their religion, it will be suicidal for any politician to disregard that sentiment and feeling and then use sentiment to go and pick a Christian from that area. You are asking that the majority of the population should not vote for you.
“So, if you want to win the votes of those two critical geopolitical zones. You have to have somebody on that ticket from that region – either as Number 1 or Number 2 on that ticket; you have to have a Muslim from those two places if you want to win their votes.
“I think that is the reality that dictated the choice of Kashim Shettima. It is not out of sentiment; it is the fact that the first duty after being given the flag of the APC to fly is to win the election for the APC. And to win that election, reality dictates that you need to pick a Muslim from either the North-West or the North-East, but preferably the North-East because the North-West have had a fair share of the presidency.”
The SWAGA leader, the APC is not “out for fun but it is “out for a serious business.”
Lawal had described as “disastrous error,” the choice by the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, of Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Lawal noted that though Tinubu remained “a very good man,” great listener, humble and “very generous in both cash and kind, especially where it could advance his political interests,” he had realised that it had been in the nature of power that “sycophants and lapdogs have the most influence on leaders with such character traits.”
The ex-SGF bared his mind in a lengthy essay obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja on Tuesday night.
Lawal, again on Thursday in an interview with Arise Television, condemned the decision of Tinubu to run with another Muslim on the APC ticket. He described the Muslim-Muslim ticket as a direct attack on Christians, noting that the party produced a Muslim presidential candidate and that most of the party officials are all Muslims.
This, Lawal said, had resulted in an outcry by the Christian community in the party.
Reacting to Lawal, Adeyeye said, “My message to him is that he should calm down. He is a statesman and an elder statesman should look for solutions to issues, not trying to stoke the fire; trying to quench it. And being a longstanding friend of Asiwaju, he should not be the one who is dropping him under the bus every time. You drop your friend under the bus; that is not how to be a good friend. Your own is to find a way, if the fire is burning, to see how you can quench it, not to stoke. That is my message to him.”