Former Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has indirectly insulted the sensitivity of the Southerners while begging them to vote for the People Democratic People party flagbearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to enable the northerners to complete 14 years in power.
He stated that Nigerians should help the North in producing the next President who will finish an additional four years to catch up with the South in terms of equity and justice.
According to him, Simple calculations proved that the southern portion of Nigeria dominated the country for 14 years, whereas the northern region ruled for only 10 years.
Speaking as a Guest Speaker in Zonkwa, Kaduna state, on Monday during the election campaign and presentation of flags to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial candidate, Sunday Marshall Katung, and other candidates for federal constituencies in Southern Kaduna, Dogara said Nigerians needed unity now more than ever because the ruling All Progressives Congress had divided the country ( APC).
He said: “To those saying why should a Muslim succeed another Muslim? I will say to them, the truth is what every Christian is called to. And if we must say the truth, Jonathan is a Christian, Obasanjo is a Christian, Obasanjo ruled for eight years, and Jonathan ruled for six years.
”So, if we sum the two together, we, I said we because I am a Christian, we have ruled this country for 14 years. Buhari has ruled for eight years and Yar’Adua ruled for two years, making a total of 10 years.
”So, we can only be justified by allowing the Muslims to have a balance of four years. Also, the two Christian Presidents are from the South, so, the North has a balance of four years.
“In the context of present Nigeria where we are divided in such a way that we can say Nigeria has never been as divided, whether we are talking about the religious divide, political divide, ethnic divide, the fault lines are many and except we find a way to unite ourselves once more, we cannot build. We will continue to perish as fools.
“So, if you ask me as a politician, what is the greatest challenge of our country, you can say it is leadership, I believe so, but I believe it is unity first. But it is leadership that brings about unity and that is why leadership and unity go together.
”So, the first task is for us to unite ourselves. Whether we are talking about the challenge of killings we are witnessing here in Southern Kaduna, banditry, terrorism, or whatever it is, the solution is that we unite ourselves, because divided people have never conquered anything.
”So, it requires unity for us to conquer all the challenges facing us in southern Kaduna and the entire country.
“So, I will want to tell us that, some people will tell us that, we are Christians, we cannot vote a Muslim. Those who hate the unity of this country will want us to emphasize religion over unity.
”They want to divide us according to our tribes, instead of bringing us together, so that, we can work together and build a nation that is strong, united and prosperous.
“They will tell you, why will a Muslim succeed another Muslim as President or why will a Fulani man succeed another Fulani man?
”I am being very honest, because these are the discussions you find on the streets, and some of us cannot deny the fact that, we are having these discussions. But, I want to tell us that, as I have said before unless we unite, we cannot conquer.
“And I tell you, that I come from a community that is challenged by this kind of killings that you witness in Southern Kaduna, Tafawa Balewa was a national flashpoint.
”The solution to the killings was that we all came together, Muslims, Christians, Fulani and my own tribe people formed a peace committee that I chaired.
”And from the day we formed that peace committee, there have been no killings. So, there is no challenge bigger than us, there is nothing we cannot overcome if we are united”.
However, Hon. Dogara cautioned the Southern Kaduna people not to waste their votes on political parties that cannot win elections.
“It is not my responsibility to tell the people of Southern Kaduna what to do, because you have been very smart politically. So, I am just here to remind us of the things we know, so that we don’t forget.
“If you are a pedestrian politician, ask yourself again, can you become Nigeria’s president without winning substantial votes from this region of Nirth-West based on the number of votes per zone as released by INEC?
“To become President of Nigeria, you have to get 35 to 40 per cent of the votes from the North-West and win massively in the other zones. So, can Labour Party get 25 per cent of the votes from the North-West? Of course not.
”So, let us. It deceives us, I am not very well schooled in the Qur’an but I am schooled in the Bible; the Bible is against waste, and Jesus Christ is against waste. Jesus Christ himself who is the author and finisher of our faith frowned against the waste of food.
“So, anyone who is telling you to go and waste your vote, that is the vote of the anti-Christ. So, I want you to register that, and let it sink. Our God is not a God of waste; He doesn’t waste anything. Anything He gives you, he said you must trade and profit it.
”The servant went and hid his talent, he didn’t make one kobo, so that he can return it to the master the way it is. But you want to waste the votes that God has given you and you hope that God will commend you, no! Your name is a wicked and useless servant. These are not my words, but the words of Jesus Christ.”
“So, by the grace of God, Nigeria will receive liberation, but we must vote for Atiku and Okowa at the federal level because that is the ticket that will unite Nigeria, that is the ticket that will rebuild Nigeria. At the state level, the APC fears that Isah Ashiru takes over the government house, so let’s give them what they fear,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi and other PDP chieftains who were at the event, accused the APC of using religion and ethnicity to cause disunity among Nigerians.
Governor Diri who was the Special Guest of honour at the event said what Nigeria needs in the coming elections are humble leaders who will unite the country in all ramifications.
Diri said Nigeria didn’t need lions as leaders but lambs with the heart to provide good governance and ready to reset the country on the right part.
He, therefore, appealed to the good people of Southern Kaduna of Kaduna State to vote for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as President, Hon. Isah Ashiru as Governor of Kaduna State, Hon. Katung as Senator for Kaduna South Senatorial district and all the other candidates of the PDP.
” We have leaders who have set a precedence in Nigeria and Kaduna State, so we want people to come and build on such records, we have to reset this country and it is not about religion or ethnicity.”
“Nigeria must be recovered and rescued through a detribalized leader in the person of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, so I urge us all to stand behind all candidates of the PDP in the coming elections” he stressed.”
” PDP will take over Aso rock and Kaduna State, it is settled in the spirit and will manifest physically, Sunday Marshal Katung is a brother and friend from another mother, that is why we are here to support him and all other PDP candidates,” he said.
Senator Makrafi called on the people to join forces together and flush out the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the coming elections.
Hon. Katung who spoke on behalf of the candidates said he was committed to the delivery of dividends of democracy for the good people of the zone and the state in general.
” By the grace of God. We will make laws that will be beneficial to the good people of Southern Kaduna and you can hold us to our words” he said.
The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of party flags by the Kaduna State PDP Chairman, Hon. Felix Hassan Hyet was supported by other party leaders for all the candidates of the party for the February 25th and March 11th elections.