Northern Christian Leaders have disowned Babachiir Lawal’s endorsement of the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, challenging him to produce minutes of meeting where such decision was reached.
A statement jointly signed by former Speaker Yakubu Dogara and seven others said while the group is poised to back one of the Presidential aspirant, the decision is yet to be reached.
This is coming on the heels of an allegation that Lawal may have collected $2million from Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to destabilize the North Central ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Sources told Pointblanknews.com that Wike had at a recent meeting in Lagos to flood the North Central with lots of money to induce voters to vote the Labour Party Presidential candidate.
According to sources, the move to induce North Central Voters to support Obi is based on the calculation that any vote for the Labour Party candidate is a wasted one as it would weaken the chances of Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate.
“Wike is not working for Obi. He is working for Tinubu. His calculation is to buy votes for Obi in the North Central, using the Northern Christian leaders, to weaken Atiku’s vote and give Tinubu an edge,” the source said.
However, sources within the Northern Christian leaders confirmed that the group is investigating allegations that $2million was allegedly giving to Lawal to railroad the group into endorsing Obi.
“That our chairman may have collected a bribe of $2million from Wike? Yes, We have heard it and we are looking into it. We will not compromise our integrity and that of our people. We hope it is not true. We sincerely hope so,” the source who would not want to be named said.
Meanwhile, the Northern Leaders statement reads:
“We want to draw the attention of the general public to the recent position canvassed by our Chairman, Engr B D Lawal as the position of our Group.
“We wish to state that necessary consultations have been concluded, and based on manifestly unassailable empirical data, the group is poised to adopt a position which will be made known to the public at an interfaith event to be held very soon.
“Suffices to say that no one in the group including the Chairman has been mandated to speak to the public about our position at this material time. Based on our modus Operandi, our position was meant to be presented to the general public at the event above referred to. That has not changed.
“Consequently, the decision to endorse a particular candidate and the statement credited to the chairman are soley the decision and views of the Chairman which he is absolutely entitled to but not that of the group. We hope this statement clears all the querries most of us have been inundated with on this all important subject matter.”
1. Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara
2. HE, Simon Achuba
3. Hon Albert Atiwurcha
4. Prof Doknan Sheni
5. Mela A. Nunge, SAN
6. Gen Ishaya Bauka Rtd
7. Prof Ibrahim Haruna
8. Mrs Leah Olusiyi