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Why I Chose Shettima As Running Mate – Tinubu Clears Air On Same Faith Ticket

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The presidential candidate of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has explained why he picked former Borno Governor Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate.

The choice, he said, was based on strategic and not religious considerations. He denied it was also an attempt to suppress the Christian community in Nigeria.

He said if he did not suppress his wife, a Pastor and his children, who are Christians, he would never suppress anyone based on religious beliefs, saying allegations in that regard were hurtful.

He spoke on Wednesday at a parley with Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) leaders in Abuja.

According to him: “This brings me to the question on the minds of many here. Why Senator Kashim Shettima? Why a same-faith ticket? Well, I did not choose Senator Shettima so that we could form a same-faith ticket. The ticket was constructed as the same progressive and people-based ideology ticket.

“I offer a confession. I selected Senator Shettima thinking more about who would best help me govern. Picking a Christian running mate would have been politically easier. But the easy way is rarely the right one. The selection of a running mate is at once a very momentous yet very intimate decision.

“Resting such a key decision on religious affiliation as the primary weight did not sit well with me. I am not saying there were not good and adequate potential running mates of the Christian faith.

“Every time I thought about it, and I did think a lot; I came to the same conclusion: Kashim Shettima His faith was immaterial. He is a brilliant man with superior intellectual capacity. He is studious and detailed oriented. Enjoying excellent organization skills, Shettima fully understands the vital difference between governance and politics.’’

He added: ‘’ I know people have reacted harshly to my selection. They have done so without knowing the man or giving him or me a fair chance.

“The rumour that this is some plot to suppress the Christian community is untrue and unfortunate.

“I can no more suppress the Christians of this nation than I can suppress the Christians in my own household, my very family.

“You all know my wife is Christian and a pastor. My children are Christians. I can no more disown them and their choice of faith than I can disown myself.

“As a husband and father to Christian wife and children, hearing such allegations is hurtful.’’

Speaking on the personal qualities of his running mate, he said: “This exceptionally gifted human being has humility of spirit, courage of his convictions and a strongly progressive worldview in harmony with my own perspectives on government and its relationship to the governed.

“I trust the caliber of the man. I know the great lengths he went in fighting Boko Haram in his state. He did his best to protect the Christian community and rebuilt damaged churches.

“This man understands the value of our national diversity in all of its ramifications, including religion. He possesses the courage to stand up to those who would wreck that diversity and freedom.’’

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=83079

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