The All Progressives Congress, APC, National leader and presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has declared that the choice of Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate despite his religion is determined by the need for Nigeria to forge ahead toward development and prosperity.
Tinubu explained this on Sunday in his
statement announcing his running mate to Nigerians.
My choice of Shettima
He said: “With the choice of Shettima, the APC is running a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 presidential election, a rarity in the nation’s political history.”
“Except in 1993 when MKO Abiola, a muslim and Babagana Kingibe, also a muslim, as running mate, contested the presidential election, consideration has always been given to religious diversity.”
Tinubu proceeded to say that inorder to forge ahead, religious, regional and ethnic sentiments should not solely determine the path to take.
What he said
“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.
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“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