From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung yesterday said that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its Presidential Candidate, Bola Tinubu, have attacked Nigeria’s diversity with the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Dalung, who served in the first tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari and just resigned from the APC, barely three months ago, berated the ruling party’s candidate, Tinubu for such a choice which he said had shown him as being incompetent.
The former minister who was a guest at Arise Television show, yesterday, accused the APC of derailing the country, saying, “The APC has squandered everything that is our heritage and our civilization.”
Vehemently condemning the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC, Dalung, currently a House of Representatives candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Plateau State said: “The truth about it is that our diversity has been attacked and for Bola Tinubu to do this it means he cannot tolerate any Nigerian, he lacks modicum of tolerance.
“The Christians have won the ticket in the South and picked Muslim deputy and the Muslims voted overwhelmingly, so what makes him feel that the same Muslims who tolerated even a Christian President with a Muslim deputy will not elect a southern Muslim with a Christian deputy and the Muslims came out in their numbers to campaign for Jonathan and Obasanjo.
“So, for him to express that fear and make this decision is a complete incontrovertible evidence of incompetence. Incompetence, because, if he was competent and confident of himself he should have believed in Nigerians and believed in himself as a president, to do justice for all. So the message he has sent to us is that I am somebody who cannot tolerate anybody who is not a Muslim, I am somebody who will not do justice to anybody who is not a Muslim.
“I am completely worried that Nigeria’s diversity is being mismanaged by the ruling party. From the day I heard of this decision (Muslim-Muslim ticket of APC), to be very honest, I lost my peace and my mind has been so agitated.
He (Tinubu) has exercised his right as a Nigerian. It is now left for Nigerians to decide.
“But it is coming at a very critical and wrong time where our unity is very fragile. Making this decision at this time disregarding the security situation, given the separatists and discordant tunes across the country, the attack of military and security institutions by Islamic groups. It is quite unfortunate that at his age he could make this decision but the only thing in the circumstance, I may be wrong, is that he made the decision thinking about himself of becoming president but not about the survival of Nigeria.
“The fact is that the APC is a governing party, is the custodian of the moral values of this country and as Caesar’s wife, should be above board. If it were a party in opposition it would be easy. Look at the so many infractions and assaults on our sensibilities by the party.”
He said APC problem started when in violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and constitution of the party, an incumbent governor, Mai Mala Buni, was picked and installed as the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman and he dismantled the entire party structure including membership.
Dalung said he feels guilty because the APC, which he was a member, misled Nigerians, stressing, “I mean we lied to Nigerians. So today, of course, there is nothing we can deny, the allegations levelled against us by the PDP cannot be anything far from being correct.”
He, however, said, “There is nothing like an attempt to Islamize Nigeria; it is not true. But there is an attempt by a group of unpatriotic elements to use religion to access power, capitalize on the gullibility of Nigerians to access power. Because when finally they will be sharing the power they are not going to look at religion even those they are going to appoint using religion are those who are very close to them. So nepotism will replace religion when they get power but they are using this religion because they want to appeal to the sentiment of ignorant Nigerians but it is just an attempt. Very, very unpatriotic political elites trying to play God and trying to play on Nigerians.”
On APC using federal might to win, the former minister said: “There was federal might behind Jonathan but God intervened and he lost. APC will lose this election. Why not? They have no reason to win. They have indicated clearly that they never meant well for this country.”