Jay FM News Commentary: APC Presidential Candidate, his Choice of Running Mate, and the Decision of Governor Lalong to Serve as Campaign DG
Written by Joey Shekwonuzhibo on August 8, 2022
For the past one week, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state has been in the news for electing to accept the offer as the Director General for the election of the All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In opting for the position, Lalong brushed aside advice from several quarters not to accept the offer given the circumstances surrounding his choice for the appointment.
Having won the primaries, Senator Bola Tinubu, who is a Muslim from the South-West, was expected to select a Christian running mate from the North so as to reflect the Muslim-Christian religious balance in Nigeria.
He was indeed advised to do so by many individuals and groups but eventually, the APC presidential candidate chose Alhaji Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim from the North-East.
Since then, there have been fierce reactions over the announcement of Shettima on July 10 as Tinubu’s running mate with many describing the choice as a huge slight on the Christian population in the country.
Before Shetima’s announcement, Governor Simon Lalong, who is the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum was among those whose names were mentioned as potential Vice Presidential candidates to Tinubu
Having been dropped eventually in controversial circumstances, Many who had expected Governor Simon Lalong to reject the Position of the Director General of the Tinubu Campaign Organization were disappointed when he accepted the position considered less strategic in the political scheme of things.
Many have also argued that there is some merit to the action of the APC, it’s a presidential candidate and Governor Simon Lalong pointed out that they have the right to make choices that may not go down well with some people.
Others have also pointed out that even though it is the right of Tinubu to choose whoever he likes as his running mate, and the right of Governor Lalong to accept the position of DG, it is also the right of Nigerians to decide, through their votes, if they support that or not.
But what appears to be obvious is that the decision of Tinubu to deviate from the traditional Christian-Muslim ticket at a time when Nigeria is facing religious tension and violence has unnecessarily thrown up the issue of religion to the fore in the presidential discourse.
As it is, Nigeria is facing existential threats from religious-cum-ethnic militias in addition to unprecedented economic hardship.
Rather than abating,the situation seems to have turned for the worse
In the past three weeks, the capital city of Abuja has been under attack repeatedly.
First, gunmen attacked the Kuje Custodian Centre and released detained terror suspects and other inmates.
While they operated at the prison for hours, there was no report that security operatives responded to them.
Weeks later, they attacked the 7 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army Presidential Guards Brigade, killing three members.
Then some days ago, they attacked a military checkpoint at the entrance into Abuja.
The precarious security situation is virtually the same in any part of the country including Plateau state where several people have lost their lives and properties destroyed. Nigerians are yearning for the ugly situation to come to an end
The electorate in Nigeria has always waited for political parties and their candidates who are known to have taken unpopular decisions during election seasons to reject them at the poll.
This may be the fate of the All Progressives Congress and Governor Simon Lalong for accepting to be the Director General of the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 poll. Only time will tell