2023: No plan to exclude Christians from Tinubu/Shettima project – APC

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has described its presidential ticket of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima as a Nigerian project, saying there no plan to exclude any religion or tribe.

This assurance is coming even as the North-west zonal leadership of the APC said it has began moves to prevent defection of aggrieved members and ensure genuine reconciliation across the states of the zone.

Speaking with newsmen Friday in Abuja, after a stakeholders’ meeting with held Thursday evening, national vice chairman of the party, Mallam Salihu Moh Lukman, acknowledged that some Nigerians have expressed their concerns regarding the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket but those concerns are not being dismissed.

The APC North-west stakeholders meeting was attended by the governor of Kastina state Aminu Bello Masari, Kebbi state governor Atiku Bagudu, some deputy governors, APC national officers, some governorship candidates and others.

According to Lukman, It is true that people have concerns and those concerns are not being dismissed.

“To the best of my knowledge, all competent party leaders have acknowledged the concerns. When you take a decision, certainly some people will be at the receiving end of the outcome.

“Our party, the APC, is not working to exclude any category, whether in terms of religion, ethnicity or any group. We have taken decision to produce candidates and they are the ones we saw at the unveiling on Wednesday. They are about the Nigerian project, not a fake one. That is the emphasis and I think, as a nation, we need to look much more positive. That I am Salihu Lukman doesn’t mean I am against a Festus or a Bankole.”

When asked what the North-west was bringing onboard in the race for 2023 elections, the APC national vice chairman said: “that is part of the reason we are having these constant consultations. As we move on, things will become clearer.

“We met to review the situation in the party at the zonal level. The main issue is to really step forward the business of reconciling aggrieved members in each state. What we agreed to do, moving forward, is to have state level committees that will meet with all party leaders and aggrieved party members with a view to reconcile all stakeholders. That will be done before the commencement of the campaign for 2023 general elections.”

On the defection of some APC chieftains from Kaduna state chapter on Thursday, Lukman said a decision was taken to prevent reoccurrence more defection.

“Kaduna and Katsina are the only outstanding states that we are yet to visit in the ongoing facts-finding tour we are conducting. And we have agreed that we will visit them early next week. This can be one of the issues we will look at to find out what really transpired and what steps we need to take.

“First, politics is all about contest. Disagreement is part of politics. You can’t have political contest without disagreement. As a party, what we are trying to do is to ensure the business of reconciliation is permanent.”

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