The APC accuses the PDP of acting irresponsibly.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, on Wednesday said it was gravely alarmed and disgusted at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s decision to use religion as a trump card in the run-up to 2015.
The APC said the PDP must desist from fanning the embers of religion even if it is desperate to cling to power.
The PDP had issued a statement on Tuesday warning the APC not to balkanize Nigeria along religious and ethnic lines.
The PDP was reacting to a statement, credited to an Islamic cleric, Yusuf Garba, and the Religious Equity Promotion Council, REPC, accusing the APC of plotting to impose an Islamic agenda just like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
”This irresponsible accusation by the PDP that the APC is dividing Nigerians along religious line is a new low even for a party that stands for nothing but incompetence, looting and election rigging,” the APC said in a statement signed by it National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed.
According to the APC, PDP’s allegation is an indication that the party would do anything “to stop the wave of change blowing across Nigeria”.
The APC said the reason it has refrained from joining issues with the PDP, despite the latter’s sponsored campaign to portray the APC as an ”Islamic” party, is because it knows the dangers that religious politics portends for any nation.
”No party wishing to lead Nigeria aright can do so on the basis of religion or ethnicity. Therefore, we are compelled to warn the PDP not to play what it believes to be its trump card, the religious card, against the APC, because whatever politicians do, they must refrain from ethnic or religious politics and put their country above selfish considerations. Only an irresponsible party will play the religious card for any reason,” APC said.
The party said even when the PDP’s top leader, President Goodluck Jonathan, decided to wear religion on his sleeve, kneeling before respectable religious leaders, leading a bloated delegate to an extended pilgrimage in Israel and pushing the pictures into the media in an apparent ploy to score political gains, the APC refrained from making any comments on it.
The party said it is illogical to accuse a party whose 35 interim officials are almost equally split between the two major religions -18 Muslims and 17 Christians- cuts across all ethnic lines; and have elected officials who profess various faiths as an ”Islamic” party.
”We are therefore warning the PDP to stop this dangerous campaign forthwith, unless of course it has decided that its interest supersedes that of the nation. If the PDP fails to stop this campaign, we will be compelled to conclude that the party is trying to plug in to the global stereotype against adherents of a certain religion just to spread fear and garner support in certain circles,” it said.
APC appealed to Nigerians to ignore the dangerous game that the PDP is playing by labelling it an ”Islamic” party, describing it as a scaremongering tactic.
”Nigerians have a history of religious tolerance that has served the country so well. We urge our compatriots to continue along this path, irrespective of the antics of a party that has finally drowned due to its own internal failings and contradictions,” the party said.
It called for a clean electioneering campaign that focuses on issues that are edifying the country and are relevant to the well-being of Nigerians.
“Nigerians want to know, for example, how the present situation of hopelessly can be turned around, how corruption can be stamped out; how a 24-hour electricity supply will be achieved just like in most countries of the world; how our teeming unemployed youths will be gainfully employed and how our dilapidated infrastructure will be rebuilt,” the party said.