The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Vice Chairman, North West, Dr. Salihu Lukman has defended the decision of the party to field a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.
Speaking with newsmen on Friday, Lukman submitted that the intention of the party is not to cause religious tension in the country but to put the best candidates forward.
It will be recalled that the decision of the APC to field Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima in the 2023 election has sparked controversy in the country with arguments for and against the same faith ticket.
However, the APC National Vice Chairman said while the concern of those raising objections is well noted, the party is not out to exclude anyone based on religion or other factors.
He stated: “I think we need to be very honest to ourselves. It is true that people have concerns and those concerns are not being dismissed. To the best of my knowledge, all party leaders have acknowledged the concern. When you make a decision, certainly there are people who would be at the receiving end of such a decision.
“Our party, APC, is not working to exclude any category, whether in terms of religion, ethnicity or any other group. We have taken the decision to produce candidates and those candidates to the best of my knowledge and I think that is what came out at the unveiling yesterday (Wednesday).”
“We are about a Nigerian project, they are not a faith project. That is the emphasis and I think as a nation, we need to look much more positive. That I’m Salihu Lukman does not mean I am against a Festus or a Bankole.”
Lukman stated further that the APC is working towards reconciling all members ahead of the general elections so the party can go united into the polls.
“The main issue is to really take forward the business of reconciling aggrieved members in each of our states and what we agreed to do moving forward is that in each of the states, there would be a state-level committee that would meet all party leaders and also aggrieved party members and make every effort to reconcile every party member before the commencement of the campaign for 2023 elections,” he added.
On some members of the APC that recently defected in Kaduna State, Lukman said though he doesn’t have the full details yet, party leaders are already working on the development.
“I don’t know the details (defection in Kaduna) but I will go and look at it. As you can see there are members of the consultative meeting that were from Kaduna state, not just Kaduna itself.
“The fact-finding tour we are doing, Kaduna and Katsina are the only outstanding state and we have agreed that early next week, we will be in Kaduna and Katsina and this can be one of the issues we would look at and see what really transpired and see what step we need to take,” he stated.
This article was originally published on Naija News