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A group of young party chieftains under the aegis of the All Progressives Congress APC National Stakeholders has expressed support for the party’s standard bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu over his choice of a fellow Muslim, Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate.

At a news conference Wednesday in Abuja, the stakeholders also reacted to statements by a former Secretary to the Government SGF, Engr. Babachir Lawal who on Wednesday described the development as a satanic and disastrous error.

“The former SGF, Engr. Babachir Lawal has only expressed his opinion just as we had some time in the past made comments seeking that certain sentiments be considered. But in a democracy, we should be willing to listen to others and not wish that only our opinions be considered. What Lawal said was his personal opinion”, the group stated.

Lawal had in a statement made available to Vanguard faulted the Tinubu/Shettima ticket which he said does not bode well for the country.

At a news conference Wednesday in Abuja, Convener of the group, Engr. Aliyu Audu conceded that his team had advocated for the selection of a running mate with a faith different from that of the presidential candidate so as to give a sense of inclusion to followers of both major religions.

He said; “We are aware that in order to build an effective working society, we must prioritize capacity, competence, character over religion and ethnicity especially as prioritising such sentiments in the past have not provided the desired goal of a sense of inclusion which can only truly be achieved when all Nigerians experience good governance at all levels regardless of their faith, ethnicity or social class.


“We understand that reaching this all-important choice must have been a hard nut to crack even for an exceptional leader like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. We are however enthused that he approached the decision with all the seriousness, sensitivity, and wide consultations it demands and as such believe that he made the best decision in the overall Interest of our unity, national growth, development, and progress, without allowing unproductive primordial sentiments to derail or affect our collective goal of building and sustaining a working society where integrity, competence, character, and capacity play huge roles.

“This has reaffirmed our trust and confidence in his abilities as a leader to make decisions whose overall interest for the country, either in the immediate or for the future towers above sentiments that are though equally important but not enough requirement for the leaders we need to prosecute the tasks ahead.


“It is on this basis that we call on patriotic and well-meaning Nigerians to see this as a confirmation that our next president will not shy away from making tough decisions when the needs arise and that such decisions would be made in the best interest of our collective success while also taking every sentiment into consideration.

“The Birth of a new Nigeria that works is upon us and we have every belief that Senator Kashim Shettima is one of the vehicles to that destination. His track record of bringing developments close to the people while he served as governor of Borno State, despite the challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgency places him above his peers. As a Senator, he has proven his mettle by moving motions and bills critical to the nation’s advancement. He is a patriotic Nigerian who knows not the social, cultural, religious, economic, and political structure of the country but lives by them. His ability to relate with people of different tribes and religions, a quality he has demonstrated by having some of his closest aides from the southern region and of a different faith stands him out as one of the most detribalised Nigerians of today”, he stated.


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