Jonathan’s Govt Has Divided Nigerians, Say Tinubu, Oshiomhole

The Jonathan Presidency has bitterly divided Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines, All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole said yesterday.

Lamenting the situation, both leaders canvassed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government should be voted out on March 28.

Tinubu spoke in Amuwo Odofin in Lagos during a rally in support of the APC Lagos State governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode. Oshiomhole spoke while receiving hundreds of defectors to the APC in Edo State.

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and his Imo State counterpart Rochas Okorocha, among others, also spoke at the Lagos rally.

Okorocha announced that seven PDP governors would join the APC.

Tinubu urged the electorate not to fall for the campaign of calumny by the PDP, using religion and ethnicity to polarise the country.

“The over 15 years of PDP rule in the country merely points to failure. Jonathan tells you a pathetic story that when he was in school he had no shoe. ‘I am from a poor family; I know what poverty is’; now he has forgotten.

“Now he has plenty shoes, plenty clothes and plenty hats, but does that put gari on your table? If you spend five hours at the gas station without light for your business, is that what we want? They even ask you to pay for the electricity that you did not use. So, that is double jeopardy, by paying for diesel that you did not consume and electricity that was never utilised by you. In that situation, do you want them to continue?

“In our schools in Lagos, did we register you on the basis of your tribe? Did we discriminate in our school fees? I am sure you are all aware of how we do things in Lagos. We believe we are the same, so we treat everybody equally. After six years, they have not been able to do anything meaningful for the people.

“It is time for them to leave, to allow those with ideas and capability to lead the country. They do not have the skills to run effective government, so they need to go back and take the position of apprenticeship,” he said.

Tinubu railed against ethnicism.

He said:  ”God decided the language you speak and the tribe you were born in to. It is not your choice; it is the choice of God.  When you get to the hospital do you see Christian or Muslim section? Do you see Igbo, Yoruba or Ijaw ward? We are one people.

“Does hunger or poverty have tribal mark? Can you go to an Igbo bread seller and say I am an Igbo man, I need bread? Can you go to a Yoruba woman selling roasted plantain and tell her to give you one because you are a Yoruba person? The road is not labeled Muslim, Christian, or Obatala road?  Let not these people continue to deceive us.

“Those of you travelling with flights; for instance Dubai, when you want to board the plane, do you ask about the name, tribe or religion of the pilot. All you simply do is to pray to God for a safe flight.”

Tinubu said the government had not been able to provide employment and insurance cover for soldiers in the battle front against Boko Haram, but the PDP-led Federal Government is going about distributing foreign currencies to woo voters.

“Soldiers and police who are working in danger. Their insurance has not been paid, but they are busy bribing people for votes,” Tinubu said.

Oshiomhole accused the PDP of stoking religious sentiments to sway voters, adding that its desperation, the PDP has bought some church leaders to preach against the APC and taint it as a Muslim party.

He warned the PDP not to polarise the country along religious lines, saying it is dangerous for the polity as both Christians and Moslems have been victims of what he called the PDP’s misrule in the past 16 years.

According to him, the PDP has made copies of a documentary which has been distributed in churches to the effect that the Gen. Muhammau Buhari (the APC presidential candidate)  would Islamise the country when voted as the President on March 28.

He said: “Some pastors after collecting money are now preaching that Buhari wants to convert the nation to Islam. When Buhari was Head of State with absolute power, did he convert Nigeria to Islam? Did he convert Dodan Barracks to Islam enclave? Are there not Christian Generals all over the place?

“The issue of this election is not about religion or tribe. It is about who has what it takes to repair our country. It is about who will give us light. If PDP couldn’t give us light in 16 years, shouldn’t we give it to someone else? Take a critical look at this election, when NEPA takes light, do they segregate between Christians and Muslims? When they bring fixed charges, do they differentiate between Christians and Moslem? Are both Christians and Moslems not suffering the inefficiency of PDP’s 16 years of mis-governance?

“They are saying APC is a Muslim party. How can a party that parades Christians, such as me, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and many others, be described as a Moslem party? Now let’s look at it, if Nigeria’s problem is about religion, since 1999 till now, Christians have ruled the nation for 14 years, how come if it is really about religion that despite ruling for 14 years, Nigeria that ought to be like heaven is still like hell?

“Nobody should use God’s name to deceive the people. The matter of governance is not about what you claim but about the state of your heart. In this state, from 1999 till now, all those that have governed Edo State are all Christians yet those that governed from 1999 till 2007 did nothing. Are we not all Christians but is it all of us that worked? They even stole from church because when you do not pay salaries for three months can the workers pay their tithe?

”In Edo State, Christians, Muslims and traditional worshippers live together in peace and harmony. Across Edo State you find people of different religions and nobody should bring religious war to Edo State.”

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