Prominent Christians in the country’s biggest opposition party, All Progressives Congress, are threatening to quit the party over an alleged plan to field a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket. There has been speculation in recent times that power brokers in the party have concluded plans to present a Muslim/Muslim ticket for the 2015 presidential election.
It was gathered that some leaders of the party, who are Christians, are insisting that the party should present a Muslim/Christian ticket through a primary election or they would leave the party.
The leaders also kicked against a consensus candidature, which they described as an imposition by a section of the leadership.
There were reports last week that the hierarchy of the party had concluded plans to field a former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, as the party’s presidential candidates through a consensus arrangement. Both Buhari and Tinubu are Muslims.
Sources said party strategists hoped that the Muslim/Muslim arrangement would help the party sweep the North-West, North-East, South-West and Edo State in the South-South. Buhari is hugely popular in the North-West and North-East while his proposed running mate, Tinubu is a major political power broker in the South-West and some parts of the South-South.
Even though the party, through its spokesman, Mr. Lai Mohammed, has denied the plan to present a Buhari/Tinubu ticket, it has not stopped prominent Christian members from protesting and threatening to quit the party.
It was further learnt that those angry with the leadership of the party included members who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC.
Five PDP governors, 37 members of the House of Representatives and members of the defunct New PDP, a breakaway faction of the PDP, had dumped the ruling party for the opposition party in 2013.
Majority of the Christian leaders, described the alleged plan to field Buhari and Tinubu as the party’s candidates as “unfair and inconsiderate.”
A top Christian official of the party, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the condition of anonymity, said aspirants should go through a primary election and the party must present a Muslim/Christian ticket to the electorate.
“They have been nursing the plan for long and they are close to hatching it. Any Buhari/Tinubu or Muslim/Muslim ticket may mark the end of the party. It will be an insult to us the Christians and we will not hesitate to leave their party for them,” the source stated.