Politics

Tinubu Explains Why He Ignored Religious Consideration In Choice Of Shettima

Muhammed Abubakar, Reporting

The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has given reasons for the choice of former Borno State governor and Senator representing Borno Central, Kashim Shettima as his running mate ahead next February general elections.

Stonix News reports that Tinubu had, on Sunday, presented Senator Shettima to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State as his running mate.

Tinubu, in a statement he personally signed, said the choice of his running mate was taken after rigorous consultations with stakeholders in the APC.

It will be recalled that there have growing resentments against a Muslim-Muslim ticket across party lines.

But Tinubu, in his Sunday statement, while justifying his unpopular preference, pleaded that he was not being insensitive to the ethno-religious conflict in the country.

He maintained that “religion, ethnicity and region cannot always and fully determine our path.

“To forge ahead as a nation toward development and prosperity, we must break free of old binds. ”

He declared that the former Borno State governor was chosen because of his impressive credentials.

“Senator Kasim Shettima’s career in politics and beyond shows that he is eminently qualified not only to deliver that all-important electoral victory, but, also step into the shoes of the Vice President.

“As a man with the talent, maturity, strength of character, and patriotism, he has my implicit confidence and faith,” the former two-term Lagos State governor.

Tinubu further urged Nigerians to subordinate religious consideration to the higher goal of good governance which, he noted, was critical.

“Our focus, therefore, must be on getting the job done; and that means getting the very best and competent people to do it. In this crucial moment, where so much is at stake, we must prioritize leadership, competence, and the ability to work as a team over other considerations,” he averred.

His statement reads in part:”Today, I announce my selection with pride because I have made it not based on religion or to please one community or the other.

“I made this choice because I believe this is the man who can help me bring the best governance to all Nigerians, period, regardless of their religious affiliation or considerations of ethnicity or region.

“May I say this to all of you, especially to those who will be disappointed in my selection based on religious considerations.

“I will not and cannot ignore the religious concerns and ethnic sensitivities of our people.

“Taking them into due consideration is an important part of good and able governance.

“But religion, ethnicity and region cannot always and fully determine our path. To forge ahead as a nation toward development and prosperity, we must break free of old binds.

“We must recalibrate our political calculations to where competence and fairness matter more than reductive demographics.

“This is why, today, I announce the selection of SENATOR KASHIM SHETTIMA as my partner and running mate in the mission to advance and reclaim the fortunes of this great country and the hopes of its people.

“Senator Kasim Shettima’s career in politics and beyond shows that he is eminently qualified not only to deliver that all important electoral victory, but, also, step into the shoes of the Vice President.

“As a man with the talent, maturity, strength of character, and patriotism he has my implicit confidence and faith.

“I am aware that many will continue focus on a particular detail, the question of his faith.

“However, if we truly understand the challenges upon us a nation, then we must also see the imperative of placing competence in governance above religious sentiment.

“In 1993, Nigerians embrace Chief MKO Abiola and a fellow Muslim running mate, Baba Gana Kingibe in one of our fairest elections ever held.
“The spirit of 1993 is upon us again in 2023.

“As such, the ticket we present today represents a milestone in our political history. It symbolizes our party’s determination to be a leading light among political parties in Africa.

“The democratic process and the decorum that characterised our presidential primaries and the selection of our vice presidential candidate exemplifies why we are the party of the people and of the betterment of their future.

“With this selection the All Progressives Congress surely shall continue to be the party that shows the way and carries this nation towards its best future.

“I implore you all to join with me on this journey to a brighter future.”

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