The ruling All progressive congress (APC) has allayed the fears of a section of Nigerians over the decision by the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to pick Sen Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Murtala Yakubu Ajaka in a statement remarked that christians, as well as other concerned Nigerians, can rest assured that their interests would be well protected under the Tinubu-led presidency.
The party assured Nigerians that fears being expressed in some quarters over the Muslim -Muslim ticket only exist in the realm of imagination as both Tinubu and Shettima are not known to be Islamic fundamentalists.
The party commended the choice of Shettima as the party’s vice presidential candidate, asking Nigerians and real voters to ignore opposition political parties’ sentiment of religion.
The party maintained that Shettima remains Tinubu’s best pick to win the 2023 poll as it is glaring that the decision has unsettled the opposition parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party described Shettima is a man of knowledge, accomplishment, courage and integrity, who is not given to bigotry, or having corruption badges with any anti-corruption agencies.
It noted: “The sterling qualities of our vice presidential candidate, in person of Senator Kashim Shettima has once again thrown the opposition parties off balance. They (PDP and others) would have preferred our presidential candidate to settle for the less so as to make it easy for them to win election (God forbid) but the choice of the trusted and trustworthy Shettima must have disorganised their evil plans, we understand their in the APC.
“While we sympathise with the opposition parties, we appeal to Nigerians, who will eventually be the beneficiaries of good governance under Tinubu-Shettima presidency to see beyond the sentiments of religion and tribe. Both Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima are not religious fundamentalists or ultra Muslims, their records in public offices are testimonies to rely on.
“As a two-term governor in Borno state, Shettima enjoyed the support of the Christian community throughout his tenure. In fact, the Borno chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) testified that ‘In the history of Borno state, there is no Governor that has been fair to the Christian Community as much as Governor Kashim Shettima.’
“For example, it was Governor Shettima, in the history of Borno, that has sponsored highest number of Christian Pilgrims every year since 2011 till he left office. This and many other records of mutual respect for all faiths are there to verify in Borno state.
“If Borno state has the largest votes in the North-east where Kashim Shettima has been governor for 8 years and now a Senator and still politically relevant, if APC has enjoyed massive support from this state and the entire North-east and the emergence of Shettima as our vice presidential candidate will deny the candidate of the PDP the smooth ride in the zone, I think APC and our presidential candidate are politically correct because our main goal for now is to emerge victorious in the coming elections, not forgetting competence which Senator Kashim Shettima represents.”