Leadership expert and member of the Public Affairs Directorate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Dr. Ronke Bello, has said the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will secure a significant number of votes among northern Christians.
Bello who was answering a question on the appropriateness of the APC’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket during an interactive session with a select group of journalists in Abuja on Saturday, averred that a good number of northern Christians are more interested in who will perform creditably well and not what religion he belongs to.
She said: “I’m a northern Christian and thank God, I love my religion. But, I will just ask this question. If one needed surgery, do you go into the theatre and first stop the surgeon and ask ‘are you Muslim or Christian or pagan or traditionalist’? The fact is, in the world, leadership is no longer about religion, it’s no longer about tribe or even about gender. Now, the presidency of any country is a serious business, it is a job and when you are headhaunting for a job, a job that really needs to be secured, believe me, religion becomes secondary and something personal”.
The Harvard trained publicist, however, pleaded with northern Christians not to believe that they have been taken for granted by the APC.
“We are not taking an important section of the country for granted. We are not insulting the intelligence of the other religions in the APC. I’m a Christian, so, it is not like I’m saying it doesn’t matter. The party and even the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates appreciate that this is a multicultural, ours is a multi- religious country, so I’m not in any way saying we can do without each other, no.
“My point as a professional is that we are headhunting for a job and when an important job needs to be done, like a surgery, you think of the right surgeon and not his/her religion. The bottom line is the surgery needs to be done and you trust that person in his ability as a professional, not as an Imam or Pastor. For 2023, we are searching for a leader so let’s search for a leader”.
When asked specifically if Tinubu will get any votes in northern Christian communities judging by the wave of protests which followed his decision to pick Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate, Bello, insisted that the APC will perform much better than expected.
“Definitely he (Tinubu) will score more than twenty-five percent in northern Christian communities. This is because when you say north you seem to forget that, there is something called the core north and then the other northern states and LGAs, were we are predominantly Christians. I know that a lot of people are going to vote for ‘Jagaban’ because we are seeking a leader who is just, who can be fair. Don’t forget that the problem some people have is that why should we replace our darling baba Buhari after 8 years with another Fulani man? So a lot of people will vote for this man (Tinubu), because we believe the man is a leader we are searching for”, she stated.