By Chukwudi Nweje
Plateau State Commissioner of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Yakubu Dati, has urged the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to pick a northern Christian as his running-mate for the 2023 election to ensure religious balance and give all a sense of belonging.
The commissioner said the APC has demonstrated what he called “capacity to make sacrifices for the well being of the nation” by zoning its presidential ticket to the South, which made the emergence of Tinubu possible, and asked Tinubu to reciprocate the gesture by picking a northern Christian as running-mate.
He said chairman of Northern Governors Forum and Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, would make a credible running mate on the APC ticket, not just because he is the only Christian APC governor from the North, but also to create regional and religious balance.
He said the APC would win the votes of Muslims and Christians in the North if the party played its cards well.
“A Tinubu/Lalong ticket will bring regional and religious balance and ensure equity and justice. While his chairmanship of the Northern Governors and Progressives Governors will attract the support of the governors, his candidature will attract Christian votes from the northern and southern parts of Nigeria. A Tinubu/Lalong ticket will stall the exodus to the Peter Obi/Labour Party frenzy which is gaining traction.
“With the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, Lalong will replicate the winning formula that Asiwaju brought to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in 2015, with the additional value of equity, justice and fairness. As a Catholic and a KSGG (Knight of Saint Gregory the Great) bestowed on him by the Pope, there’s is the possibility that pairing with Lalong will resonate with the predominantly Catholic South East and probably make the ticket become more appealing,” he said.