Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has officially unveiled Kashim Shettima as his running mate for the 2023 election.
Shettima, a former governor of Borno State, was unveiled at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, on Wednesday.
The choice of Shettima as Tinubu’s running mate has triggered heated debate on the grounds that the two of them are Muslims.
While announcing Shettima in Daura, Katsina State, on July 10, Tinubu had said he consulted widely befre choosing him.
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.
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.
“If I am to be that type of President, I must begin by being that type of candidate. Let me make the bold and innovative decision not to win political points but to move the nation and our party’s campaign closer to the greatness that we were meant to achieve.
“Here is where politics ends, and true leadership must begin. Today, I announce my selection with pride because I have made it not based on religion or to please one community or the other. I made this choice because I believe this is the man who can help me bring the best governance to all Nigerians, period, regardless of their religious affiliation or considerations of ethnicity or region,” he had said.