Former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Femi Fani-Kayode

A Christian group has advised the presidential candidate of the opposition PDP for the 2019 elections, Atiku Abubakar, to choose ex-Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode as his running mate.

Atiku, who emerged as the PDP presidential candidate at the party’s elective convention on 7 October in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, is considering some persons to run with him as a vice-presidential candidate.

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And there are speculations that the former vice-president may eventually opt for a running mate from the southeastern part of the country.

But this group, Christians in Power Network (CIPN), says Fani-Kayode, who hails from Osun state in the southwestern part of Nigeria, possesses the qualities which Atiku requires to solve Nigeria’s problems.

Fani Kayode, according to the group, ”is the one man who has stood firmly for the [Christian] faith and has suffered immense persecution in the hands of the establishment because of this.”

In a statement signed by Apostle Chikezie Onyekere and Pastor Solomon Ayuba, the body’s Coordinator and Secretary respectively, the group also said: ”The greatest fear of Christians today is that of insecurity where priests, pastors and their members are wantonly killed, our churches continuously desecrated and destroyed, and our sources of livelihood wasted, we as Christians will not vote for any party that parades a Christian who cannot effectively represent our cause at the highest levels.”

Atiku was Nigeria’s Vice-President between 1999 and 2007

It continued: “Apart from the votes that Fani-Kayode would get from the southwest as one from there, he will also get massive votes across the nation and everywhere Christians are found because we have come to see him as our voice, not just us but also evry oppressed Nigerian irrespective of religion, ethnicity or party affiliation.

“This will be the masterstroke for both Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.

“Fani-Kayode is loved for having been consistent in playing the roles of voice for the voiceless and defender of the defenceless without any immunity covering him even while those with one refused to speak up for the people.

“No doubt, an Atiku/Fani-Kayode presidency will be an ideal team that would tackle our economic crises and insecurity satisfactorily. We shall sensitise and mobilize our people massively to vote for the PDP at the presidential election should we be sure that we have a strong voice for us there. Fani-Kayode is widely loved across the major religions of the country.

”He has spoken up for the Shiite Muslims who have suffered untold hardship in the hands of the current government. He has spoken up for Dasuki, a Fulani Muslim, who is being unjustly held in detention even after multiple valid court orders had granted him bail. He has also spoken up for Sheikh El Zakzaky who is suffering a similar fate to that of Dasuki etc. So no one can accuse him of religious bigotry.”