The vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 general poll, Senator Kashim Shettima has said Nigerians will vote competence over “primordial sentiments” during the upcoming general elections.
He spoke yesterday in Abuja, during his unveiling as running mate to the presidential candidate of the ruling party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Shettima, a former governor of Borno State, was picked after a series of meetings and horse-trading among critical stakeholders of the party.
His emergence however generated ripples in the polity on account of him sharing the same religious faith with Tinubu, a Muslim from the South West.
Christian organisations had kicked against the development and threatened not to vote for the party if it did not replace him with a Christian.
But in his acceptance speech yesterday, Shettima said his joint ticket with Tinubu represented hope and progress of the nation, promising to unite the country and provide purposeful leadership.
“I’m not unaware of the difficult political arithmetic that produced this moment, especially the understanding of our great party’s stakeholders and supporters, across religions, regions and ethnicities. Their resolve to settle for this ticket is a testament to the faith they have in us.
“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 tones 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.
“I’m sincerely proud of the rational citizens, who view this, as nothing but a pragmatic permutation, to defeat our opponents at the polls, and based on acknowledgment and implementation of the candid perspectives of our Christian brothers and sisters in the APC, who, like us, are bound by the passion for us to retain power, in order to deepen the delivery of unifying and transformative governance, to Nigerians.”