Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state has asked a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, to watch his utterances on the controversial issue of Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Telescope.ng reports that Ganduje, in a statement released on Wednesday, July 13, by Kano state Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, said Mr Lawal is spreading falsehood and preaching intolerance.
Both Ganduje and Lawal are members of the ruling APC.
The presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, a Muslim from Lagos State, South-west Nigeria, on Sunday, nominated Kashim Shettima, a Muslim from Borno in the North-east region, as his running mate for the 2023 election.
The nomination has since sparked varied reactions, particularly within the party.
Northern Christian members of the APC had in a statement described the decision as insensitive while Elisha Abbo, an APC senator from Adamawa State, resigned from Mr Tinubu’s campaign organisation.
Lawal, who backed the former Lagos State governor during the primaries, condemned the decision in a statement on Tuesday.
In the statement, Lawal alleged that several intellectuals around Mr Tinubu have left, allowing bigots to take advantage of his “long ambition to be president.”
He described Shettima as a “Greek gift” from the governors of the APC.
“Tinubu is a very good man. He is a great listener. He has a very humble and friendly disposition to everyone. He is very generous in both cash and kind, especially where it could advance his political interests.
“But I have realised that it is in the nature of power that sycophants and lapdogs have the most influence on leaders with such character traits. They will lie to him, malign and disparage others and generally do anything to curry his favour and to also put well-meaning associates in bad light.
“I suspect this is what has happened to my friend. He has been cornered by self-serving, hero-worshiping lapdogs.
“It never used to be like this. While in his hey-days in Lagos, he surrounded himself with smart, street-wise guys that could tell truth to power. He had Rauf Aregbesola, Yemi Osinbajo, Babatunde Fashola, Dele Alake, Muiz Banire, etc. The Lagos days were the days of think-tanks, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, principles and ideologies. But these people have since grown-up and moved up to establish their own systems leaving my friend stranded. Nature they say abhors vacuum.
“Welcome the Abuja equivalent. But the Abuja equivalent are people inflicted with the modern Nigerian diseases – religious bigotry, sycophancy and morbid tribalism. They are mostly political jobbers who are most times not averse to the application of diabolical means. Gone are the days of think-tanks and strategic planning. Gone are the days of principles and ideologies. Try and call a meeting; they will not attend. Try and make a plan; they will sabotage it. Everything is ad-hoc, everything is chaotic because they excel in such environments.
“The result is that they have played on his long term ambition to be President and have built it into a sort of desperation and a crescendo that easily justifies this satanic resort to a Muslim-Muslim ticket. This is the calamity that has befallen my friend.”
Ganduje said Lawal ought to consider his relationship with Tinubu before coming out with the statement.
He said: “It is unfortunate that at a time when the country needs to be united for national development and religious tolerance, a man of Babachir’s caliber, who is highly respected, would spread falsehood without much consideration to his position in the All Progressives Congress and closed relationship with the party’s flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
He urged Lawal and other internal critics “to be mindful of their utterances, especially on religious matters and support the APC for quality leadership that will deliver the country from its challenges.”