The Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu has revealed why he didn’t choose a Christian as running mate for the 2023 presidential election
He defended his choice of Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Although the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had rejected the idea and warned parties against it, But the supporters of the candidate and the party had argued that competence, exposure and intellectual depth should be prioritised above religion.
DAILY GIST reported that Tinubu announced Shettima as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election on Sunday in Daura, the hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari in Katsina State.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State briefed reporters at the end of a close-door meeting that lasted about an hour with the President at his residence.
Speaking on settling for Shettima as running mate, Tinubu said all his life, decisions regarding the team around and supporting him had always been guided by the principles of competence, innovation, compassion, integrity, fairness, and adherence to excellence.
He said he consulted widely on the issue of running mate and he appreciates the perspectives of leading members of the party, political allies and key national figures “who see Nigeria’s future as I do”.
Tinubu specifically said the belief in prioritising leadership, competence, and the ability to work as a team over other considerations influenced his running mate choice.
“I am mindful of the energetic discourse concerning the possible religion of my running mate. Just and noble people have talked to me about this. Some have counselled that I should select a Christian to please the Christian community. Other have said I should pick a Muslim to appeal to the Muslim community. Clearly, I cannot do both.”
“Both sides of the debate have impressive reason and passionate arguments supporting their position. Both arguments are right in their own way. But neither is right in the way that Nigeria needs at the moment. As president, I hope to govern this nation toward uncommon progress. This will require innovation. It will require steps never before taken. It will also require decisions that are politically difficult and rare.