Christians in Nigeria have been reminded that the crucial role they can play is to examine the character of the candidates running for offices especially the highest office in the country and disavow those of them that they know are not a reflection of their moral ethos.
Immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said: “Some may say it is bitter politics, but it is not, because, anyone putting himself in a position to lead others has wittingly or unwittingly placed his character to be called to question.
“This is because without character, you cannot influence people. And without influence, you can not lead people. Once we know the truth, failure to declare the truth we know, is not virtue, but cowardice. Thanks to the leadership of CAN for long taking a stand against the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC mainly because it is capable of polarizing our politics along religious line.
“They wanted a balanced ticket so that all of us, Muslims and Christians in Nigeria will unite behind it to build a nation that works for all of us. But in addition to this, we now have many other reasons not to back the APC ticket.”
The former Speaker, who gave a keynote address at the ACIPA Day of Prayers, Awards and Book Dedication/Launching held at ECWA Headquarters, Jos, Plateau State, said: “Ann Coulter, a Republican political commentator in the US had this to say about Nigeria; “Nigeria, for example, leads the world in criminal enterprises. Every level of Nigerian society is criminal, with the smart ones running Internet scams, the mid-range ones running car theft rings, and the stupid ones engaging in piracy and kidnapping. At the University of Lagos, you can major in credit card fraud.
“This is how the world sees us. But whose fault is it? If we as the Church can not call out criminally minded people who seek to occupy leadership positions, who do we expect will do it?”
Dogara stressed that “the truth is controversial. Jesus was a controversial figure because he is the truth. Religious leaders and lawyers didn’t know how to handle him. They sought severally to lay hands on him for daring to speak the truth but God did not allow them until the fullness of time.”
He also said: “For example, when people say Bishop Mathew Kukah is controversial. That’s the testimony that he stands for the truth just like Jesus. Anyone of us who shrinks from the truth because he doesn’t want to be seen as controversial, is not a follower of Jesus.
“It was Senator Dino (Melaye) that said we cannot have Pablo Escobar as our President and Osama Bin Laden as our Vice President. A lot of people said that was extreme. But the real question on our lips should have been, is Sen Dino saying the truth or is he lying just to score cheep political points.”
Yakubu Dogara further said: “As it is, Hajiya Naja’atu Bala Muhammad, who was ludicrously sacked after resigning her position as campaign Director, has given vent to Sen Dino’s postulations.
“Never bother that they have called her a serial liar and a purveyor of fake news because that is the label they have placed on anyone who dares to call them out. Even in law, when you attack someone’s character you have invariably placed your own character under attack.”
According to him, “with what we know and have come to believe now since the candidate has not made any attempt to refute all the allegations against him with any shred of evidence, should Senator Dino, not have said that, we cannot have Pablo Escobar, Charles Ponzi and Wilhelm Voigt combined in one man as our President.”
He also said that as a matter of fact, the candidate is greater than all the three combined for the following reasons: Not everything about Escobar, Ponzi and Voigt were fake. But in this case, the only thing that is true about the candidate are the staggering allegations of fraud and moral corruptions.
He explained that, Escobar, Ponzi and Voigt didn’t have shady paternity but “this one arranged for his mother to be buried in secret against one of the cardinal commandments, in fact the very first with a promise,” honour thy father and mother, that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
The former Speaker added that the three did not parade fake affidavits about school certificates they did not earn from schools they did not attend but, “this one scammed his way to the the echelons of a multinational’s corporate ladder with fake certificates.
He further said that, “only Ponzi had the genius to turn a legitimate business venture into a lucrative crime while this particular candidate doesn’t know the difference between the two while Escobar, Ponzi and Voigt were all jailed, this man is running for the highest office in our country.”
Speaking further, he said that “as a Scandinavian adage instructs us, “you may dress the shepherd in silk, but, he will still smell of the goat”. The more his handlers attempt to dress him in silk, the more he smells of the he-goat. Since he won’t talk to you on his campaign tours, he won’t talk to you when he is in power. Which one is easier?”
He lamented saying,”To talk to you when he is seeking for your votes or explain himself when he is in power? When he does talk, he pledges he is waging a jihad to Muslim leaders as amply elucidated by a serving North West Governor but when he talks to Christians he says he will be fair and just to Christians because his partner is a Christian.”
He said that,”The perfect act of a con artist. A con artist succeeds only because he makes you keep your focus on what you will gain while distracting you from focussing on what you stand to lose.”