Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has assured Christians of his safety if he is elected president in the upcoming general election.
Atiku, who described him as a unifier, said he believes in the integration of humanity at all levels and would do everything possible to promote unity in diversity.
The former Vice President stated that he has never contemplated the same ticket of faith throughout his political career and said that the move will result in utter disaster for Nigerians.
He said this at the General Church Council (GCC) meeting of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Jos, the Plateau state capital on Tuesday.
Atiku, who was represented by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Yakubu Dogara said that God made no mistake in creating people and allowing them to belong to different tribal, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
He said: “A divided Nigeria cannot achieve God’s purpose for us as a people. A country divided will only keep us in the dark and in chains. Throughout my life, I have lived and worked in harmony with people of other faiths and ethnic affiliations with ease because of mutual understanding and respect.
“My business and political partners come from different backgrounds without expressions of religious or ethnic sentiments. I have never contemplated the same ticket of faith throughout my political career because it will result in absolute disaster for all Nigerians.
“No statesman at first takes a position that clearly excludes nearly half the country and still hopes to do the job Nigeria sorely needs. No matter how hard and skillful one dresses the same ticket of faith; it is an open invitation to lawlessness and a clear statement that not everyone will be led by the government.
“As Adamawa State Governor-elect in 1999, I gave my full support, through thick and thin, to Boni Haruna to take office when I was nominated for Vice President. Boni ruled Adamawa for eight uninterrupted years. Also, in Taraba state, Reverend Jolly Nyame was encouraged to run for governor in 1999 with my full support.
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“We have and still are working together with many Christians across the country, and the church must have confidence in my ability, experience and ability to provide credible leadership that unites our people and empowers Nigerians of all faiths to live together. in peace and harmony. .”
Atiku also thanked Christians across the country for their prayers and commitment to the nation, and assured that he will not cease to cement a cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims at all times.
“The church will get a lot under my watch as president of this nation if he is elected. I will do my best if elected to rid Nigeria of conflict businessmen and profiteers in order to lay a solid foundation for Nigeria’s advancement. This must be the case if we ever hope to realize our full potential as a nation.
“No society in history has remained disunited and still maintained its civilization. Politics is not a sufficient reason to keep us divided. A divided Nigeria can get us nowhere. If Nigeria is divided, both Christians and Muslims will suffer.
“I am proud to say that I have a strong partner in Governor Okowa, who is not only a Christian, but also a man of unwavering faith in Nigeria and our people. I am convinced without a doubt that together with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as Vice President, we will take Nigeria to the desired heights,” he added.
However, the former vice president praised ECWA for holding the annual GCC meeting “where progress and developments are reviewed and new work strategies are adopted.”
Speaking for himself, Dogara urged Christians to take stock of what each presidential candidate has done for Christians in the north and meditate on it.
Quoting from the Bible, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives compared Atiku to the popular centurion from the Bible, whose faith was recognized by Jesus and about whom the Jews enthusiastically spoke to Jesus about his love for the Jews and the fact that he even built a synagogue for them.
Citing Governors Bony Haruna and Reverend Jolly Nyame, he said those two represent two strong synagogues that Atiku had built for the church and challenged Christians to vet other candidates, stressing that if they have done what the presidential candidate did of the PPD, then you can vote for them.
Dogara apologized for the absence of Atiku and Okowa on the occasion, saying it was not out of disrespect to the Church but because they were both in Ekiti state for the PDP presidential rally.
For his part, ECWA President Rev. Stephen Baba Panya thanked Atiku for finding time to pay attention to what the church is doing and for sending eminent political leaders to honor the church’s GCC meeting.
Panya also praised Atiku for sending Dogara to represent him, saying that the latter has an excellent reputation in the church even before joining politics.
He added that the church is observing, monitoring and listening to all the candidates and will soon make a decision based on its convictions.