By Dayo Badmus,
The Vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the coming 2023 general elections, Senator Kashim Shettima has said the standard bearer of the party, Bola Tinubu has experience and capacity to rule Nigeria.
Based on Shettima’s past speeches and interviews published by Vanguard at the weekend, Tinubu’s running mate said age is just a number adding that those that are younger than the APC national leader can perform horribly when it comes to ruling the country.
The former Borno state governor also reiterated Tinubu’s position that President Muhammadu Buhari would not have been voted president of the country, if not for the input of the former Lagos state governor.
Shettima said, “Age is just a number. There are some younger people that can perform abysmally low. My principal has the experience, exposure and a lucid mind to add value to the nation and we are at a very critical juncture in the annals of Nigeria’s history, buffeted by all sorts of challenges, be it security, be it economy and a leader that we need is a leader who understands the dynamics of running a modern economy.
“The world is a knowledge-driven world. We have moved from the agricultural age to the industrial age and now we are in the post-industrial, knowledge-driven age and you need a Nigerian president who has been tested with excellent and competent leadership skills.
Most importantly, with all these agitations about non-inclusion and separatist tendencies around the country, you need a leader who understands Nigerian sociology and we don’t have a better person than my principal.”
Speaking about Tinubu’s role in Buhari’s presidency, Shettima said, “People cannot be indifferent to Bola Tinubu my principal. Whatever my principal said about his past sacrifices for our party and how we won in 2015 is not a new thing.
“Can anyone come out and dispute what my principal has said about his sacrifices for this country and our party? He played a very crucial role in the ascendancy of President Buhari. I was a foundational member of APC and those who suffer from memory amnesia can forget about the role of Asiwaju Tinubu in the ascendancy of President Buhari.
“If we can go down memory lane, their relationship goes beyond 2015 and it started quite earlier. Before the 2014/2015 merger, a foremost traditional ruler from Northern Nigeria led his own team, went to Asiwaju in Lagos and told him, ‘not in our name, he doesn’t represent us’.
“A group of retired army generals also approached him in Lagos and told him, ‘not in our name, he doesn’t represent us’. So, also, the northern establishment where a professor led a team and disowned President Buhari.
“To add insult to injury, there was a delegation from Katsina that disowned the president and said he is not their anointed candidate. Asiwaju withstood all those pressures and in the presidential primaries in Lagos, without the bloc vote from the South West, Buhari couldn’t have clinched that ticket. I was part of that. He has paid the price so what is wrong with him demanding the job? He deserves the right of first refusal.”
On Muslim-Muslim ticket, he said, “I want to reassure Nigerians who are accusing him of Islamising Nigeria. Has he started by Islamising his own family? Yes, Tinubu’s running mate might be a Muslim, but his life mate of over40 years is not only a Christian but a pastor of the RCCG.
“He did not impose his Islamic faith on his children. He was the first governor to hand over mission schools back to their owners. He has groomed people from all walks of life. But I can assure you, we will reach out to all tendencies.”