I chose Shettima as my running mate to win 2023 polls- Tinubu


All Progressives' Congress, (APC) presidential flag-bearer in the 2023 general election, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, reiterated his choice of running mate, Kashim Shettima on Wednesday saying he remains constant and unwavering.

There has been cry, especially amongst Christians in Nigeria against the APC Muslim-Muslim ticket of Tinubu/Shettima.

But, speaking at the unveiling of Shettima in Abuja at the Yar'dua Center, Tinubu said he was perturbed as the former Borno Governor is the very best person to run for the office of vice president along with him.

He said Shettima’s career in politics and beyond shows, he is eminently qualified not only to deliver that all important electoral victory, but, also, step into the shoes of the Vice President.

"I believe in the project this party embarked on at the moment of its foundation. Our diversity is our strength and also, believe that we must be victorious in order to achieve the greatness of which this country is capable.

"In politics, these principles are sacrosanct. Without them there can be neither victory nor good governance. I seek both. I applied them as Governor of Lagos State, and I will apply them again.

"All my life, my decisions regarding the team around and supporting me have always been guided by the principles of competence, innovation, compassion, integrity, fairness, and adherence to excellence."

Tinubu also declared that APC must win the 2022 election so that the party can bring jobs, education, food, medicine, hope and belief for better life to Nigerians.

He said: "Every election brings with it, promise of renewed hope. This one shall be no different. For our party and nation, we hold the chance to move the nation and collective cause forward as never before. To do this, we must be wise of thought and courageous of action. We must win this election."

In his acceptance speech Shettima said his joint ticket with Tinubu is not an imposition but an outcome of democracy at its practical best, based on aggregation of ideas and insights of great party stakeholders.

He said if that were an unpopular option, as the cast of partisan provocateurs has attempted to paint, there would not have been the tonnes of goodwill messages, especially from Christians over the country.

"This ticket is a Nigerian project, not a sectional agenda, 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."

The former Borno governor described his composition with Tinubu as "reincarnation of the 30-year-old hope that produced the late MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe, came at a time the country is being pushed to the edge of anarchy, by conflict entrepreneurs, in gaudy suits and agbada.

"But the overwhelming endorsement of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, at the APC presidential primaries, by aspirants from the very groups predicted to reject him; and his subsequent election by delegates from the same groups, is a clear message, that Nigerians are beyond the stereotypes of those desperate to tear the people apart."

Shettima said Nigerians witnessed the decisive blows by the bigotry dispensed by a hopeless minority, ahead of the APC presidential primaries, last June saying; "The futility of their propaganda, showed that Nigerians aren’t the unthinking robots some are quick to call them.

"Nigerians are rational beings, with the capability to tell an invidious agenda apart, from sincere concern for them.

"They are not the uncritical consumers of click-bait and falsehoods, as some of us think they are. They see through the bigots, masquerading as patriots and, very importantly, know those who represent their interests, even in the quietest and darkest of meeting rooms."

In his remarks, Abdullahi Adamu, APC national chairman after unveiling Shettima said the 1993 presidential ticket and the current one bridged one of Nigeria's fault lines in the management of her diversities.

"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 sons of this country, 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.

"Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for that ticket because they trusted Abiola, a man who opened his arms to every tribe and religion in the country, to run an inclusive government in which no man or woman would be denied his or rights as a Nigerian citizen by the profession of his faith.

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

He further noted that Shettima brings to the joint ticket, impressive antecedents as a political leader and administrator, adding that Tinubu could not have made a better choice of a running mate.

"The unveiling of the vice-presidential candidate sends strong signal to the country that our great party is ready and united around common cause of coasting home with victory at every level in 2023. But we must not be unmindful of the hurdles ahead.

"It is time to purge ourselves of the bitterness arising from our individual losses in the party primaries. It is time to submit ourselves to the Will of God and the party, and do nothing to sabotage its well-laid plans for victory.

"Other political parties want what we want, and that is, to win and form the next government.

"If by any act of omission or commission, we give in to bitterness and pettiness or fail to see the larger picture or take any of the political parties for granted, we would constitute an obstacle to the victory of our party," he said.

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