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2023: We’re For Nigerian Project, Not Sectional Agenda – Shettima

2 years ago
4 mins read

In a bid to counter the criticisms of the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, Senator Kashim Shettima has indicated that the party has the goal of working for the interest of the whole Nigerians and not to favour a particular region, ethnic or religious group.

Senator Shettima made the remark in his acceptance speech during the formal unveiling of the APC vice president candidate at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja on Wednesday.

Recall that the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had on Sunday, July 3, 2022 announced Senator Shettima as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria. This sparked outraged in some quarters with some said Tinubu and APC did not take into consideration the fact that Nigeria is a multi-religious state and should have chosen christian as his running mate to reflect the diversity.

But Tinubu said he chose Shettima because he believes that Shettima has all it takes in assisting him to work for the progress of the country when elected.


Shettima, a two-time governor of Borno State, said in his speech that the presidential candidate and his running mate were not imposed on the party members and Nigerians.

“This ticket isn’t an imposition; it’s an outcome of democracy at its practical best, and based on the aggregation of the ideas and insights, of our great party’s stakeholders.

“If this were an unpopular option, as the cast of partisan provocateurs has attempted to paint, there wouldn’t have been the tonnes of goodwill messages, especially from distinguished Christians, from all over the country.

“This ticket is a Nigerian project, not a sectional agenda, that the frightened camps have been struggling to sensationalize,” Shettima stated.

Shettima who represents Borno Central Senatorial District in the national assembly, said his emergence as the running mate of Tinubu was based on the party’s “forthright assessment of the threats ahead” likely to be posed by opposition party candidates in 2023 election.

He thanked the APC stakeholders for their painstaking effort in choosing him as the vice presidential candidate of the party saying: “I’m most honoured by the consensus of the distinguished stakeholders of our party, to trust me, with representing the nation’s interests, under the leadership of the very sage, the youths all over our country, fondly refer to as “City Boy”, (referring to Tinubu) in honour of his cosmopolitan profile.”

Shettima thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his wisdom and leadership that has guided the party to attain the political height it is today, adding that he remains “the man of the season” for resisting the urge to impose a successor president.

He also paid tribute to Tinubu for his sacrifices and vision as national leader which has also helped the partybto a great extent. He particularly describing him as a detribalized Nigerian.

He also acknowledged the invaluable roles of the APC governors under the auspices of the Progressives Governors Forum, towards sustenance of the party. He particularly noted that the governors dropped their personal interests for the greater good of the party.

” I’m standing here today because of the benign testaments of those who believe in me—those who crawled so that some of us could walk, and those who walked, for others to run.

2023: We're For Nigerian Project, Not Sectional Agenda - Shettima
APC chairman raising Shettima’s hand

“The successes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the past two presidential elections, were not magic shows. They were rewards for our foresighted, and pragmatic decisions, to sacrifice our personal interests and sectional sentiments, for the overriding prospects of our Great Party.

“I’m immensely grateful to our great Party, the All Progressives Congress, and it’s perceptive stakeholders who consulted widely, in the painstaking bid, to choose Asiwaju’s running mate, for the 2023 elections. I’m grateful for this opportunity to be a part of this history, to deliver Nigeria to a future defined by fast-evolving technologies, that will propel us towards guaranteed national security, economic boom, youth engagement, mass employment, high-quality education, and, of course, uncompromising national cohesion.”

He assured supporters that they would in the coming days roll out their plans for a greater Nigeria.

On his part, the APC national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu

Commended Tinubu for the choice of Shettima as his running mate, describing him as a man who has thrown his arms around every tribe in the country.

Adamu stated that the APC has chosen a presidential candidate accepted by all zones in the country in the person of Tinubu, adding that “He can be trusted to run an inclusive government in which character, competence and vision matter to his administration.

“Our party has produced a candidate who is accepted by all zones in our country. He enjoys the trust of every strata in our national socio-economic structure. We are confident that Nigerians will entrust him with the leadership of our country in 2023. We offer our gratitude to Nigerians for the continued trust they repose on the APC.”

Adamu explained that the choice of running mate is the exclusive right of the presidential candidate in consultation with party stakeholders, and Tinubu being an astute politician, having made his choice, they members wholly supported him.

The APC national chairman commenting on the raging issue of the Muslim-Muslim ticket, what Tinubu did was similar to what happened during the 1993 presidential election when Chief MKO Abiola chose Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe a Kanuri man from the North-East geo-political zone, as his running mate.

He said, “Those of you who are students of our recent political history will note that in choosing Shettima as his running mate, Jagaban chose also to walk along the path that other great son of this country, Aare Onakakanfo, the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, did. He chose a Kanuri, Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe from the North-East geo-political zone, as his running mate in the 1993 presidential election.

“We are beginning to suspect there must be some synergy between the Yoruba and the Kanuri. May be there is a mutual attraction between them that the rest of us do not know. Never mind, we will put the searchlight on them.”

2023: We're For Nigerian Project, Not Sectional Agenda - Shettima

Adamu observed that in the 1993 election, Nigerians bridged one of the country’s faultlines to management their diversities by massively voting for the ticket.

“At this time in our national development, and given the myriads of our national challenges, we should look for men and women of character, competence and demonstrable evidence of their performance in public or private offices.

“We believe these informed Jagaban’s decision to select Senator Shettima because he fits the bill,” further stated.

Adamu said Shettima would bring to the joint ticket his “impressive antecedents as a political leader and administrator.”

He added that by unveiling the vice presidential candidate, the APC has sent out strong signals that it is “ready and united around the common cause of coasting home with victory at every level in 2023.

He however, warned that stakeholders and supporter must be mindful of the hurdles ahead and urged all to work in unity, trust in God for victory and should not sabotage the interest of the party.

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.


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