All Progressives Congress (APC) Deputy National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Murtala Ajaka has urged Nigerians to disregard any religious objections to the party’s selection of Sen. Kashim Shettima as its vice-presidential candidate for 2023.
Ajaka made the request in a statement on Monday in Abuja in response to opinions aired by various political groups, particularly the opposition, over the APC’s selection of Shettima.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Muslim and former two-term governor of Borno, Shettima, has been named as Sen. Bola Tinubu’s running mate for the APC’s 2023 presidential nomination in Daura, Katsina State.
Tinubu, a former two-term governor of Lagos State and a prominent APC figure, had traveled to Daura to honor President Muhammadu Buhari during Sallah.
Shettima now sits in the National Assembly as Borno Central’s representative.
While praising Tinubu’s decision, Ajaka claimed that the anxieties being voiced in some places were purely fabricated by the opposition political parties.
Shettima was cited by the APC spokesman as the party’s top candidate to triumph in the upcoming 2023 presidential election.
He claimed that the loudness and anguish were a result of the opposition parties, particularly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), being unbalanced after Shettima was named the APC’s vice-presidential nominee.
Shettima, according to Ajaka, was a knowledgeable, successful, courageous, and honest man who did not tolerate bigotry or own corruption badges from any anti-corruption organizations.
He continued by saying that Shettima’s sterling credentials and qualities as the vice presidential candidate for the APC had once again thrown the opposition parties of balance.
“The PDP and others would have preferred our presidential candidate to settle for the less to make it easy for them to win election.
“But the choice of the trusted and trust worthy Shettima must have disorganised their evil plans.
“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 Sen. Kashim Shettima are not religious fundamentalists or ultra Muslims, their records in public offices are testimonies to rely on,” he said.
Ajaka recalled that Shettima, a two-term former governor of Borno, had the backing of the religion’s followers during his administration, as attested by the state’s branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
He continued by saying that Shettima’s administration has been the most equitable to the Christian community in Borno’s history.
According to him, Shettima sponsored the most Christian pilgrims every year from 2011 till he left office as governor of Borno.
“This and many other records of mutual respect for all faiths, are there to verify in Borno,” Ajaka said.
However, he went on to say that the APC and its presidential candidate would remain focused on their objective of triumphing in the 2023 general elections at all levels.
“Borno has the largest votes in the North-East where Kashim Shettima has been governor for eight years and now a Senator and still politically relevant.
“If APC had 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 a 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 Shettima represents,” he said.
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