Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says his selection of a running mate is beyond religion and ethnicity.
Tinubu announced Kashim Shettima, the former Borno governor, as his running mate after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Katsina on Sunday.
The choice of Shettima has now laid to rest the speculation that Tinubu, a Muslim from the south, might settle for a northern Muslim as his VP pick.
Speaking on his decision, Tinubu said what mattered the most was “competence in governance”.
He said the ticket “represents a milestone in Nigeria’s political history” — just as it was when MKO Abiola, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), chose Babagana Kingibe, a fellow Muslim, as his running mate in 1993.
The 1993 presidential election which was presumed to have been won by Abiola is adjudged to be the freest and fairest election in Nigeria’s history.
“I am mindful of the energetic discourse concerning the possible religion of my running mate. Just and noble people have talked to me about this. Some have counselled that I should select a Christian to please the Christian community. Other have said I should pick a Muslim to appeal to the Muslim community. Clearly, I cannot do both,” Tinubu said.
“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.
“I am aware that many will continue to 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.”
Tinubu said with this selection, the APC will continue to be the party that shows the way and carries Nigeria towards its best future.
Source: Top Stories
You might also like
More from Top Stories
Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye, a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), has been installed as the new Soun …
Ishaq Salako, minister of state for environment, says Nigeria is determined to advance climate action without jeopardising its economic growth. Salako …
Tony Elumelu, the group chairman of Heirs Holdings, has urged the Indian private sector to invest in Nigeria, stating that …