THE vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Kashim Shettima has reacted to the criticism trailing the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The former Borno State governor, who was formally unveiled as the APC vice presidential candidate in Abuja on Wednesday, said his nomination comes with burden of trust not to disappoint those who supported him.
He added that he acknowledged the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other stakeholders of the party who chose him as a result of his competence.
He said: “This ticket is a Nigerian project, not a sectional agenda that they are trying to portray. This is about a transformative agenda. The goodwill that has poured in since my nomination underscored the hope in our ticket. It is an accomplishment that Nigerians are again bent on pushing for good governance over primordial sentiments.
“Nigerians have the capacity to see through bigots masquerading as patriots, with an insidious agenda to tear the nation apart. We give our commitment that no discrimination will arise from this single faith ticket.
“I don’t need to be Vice President to represent the interest of the Muslim faith, the Sultan of Sokoto is capable of doing that.”
In his remarks at the event, the national chairman of the APC Abdullahi Adamu, said the presidential candidate of the party consulted widely before picking Shettima as his running mate.
“The 1993 presidential ticket and the current one bridged one of our fault lines in the management of our diversities. Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for that ticket because they trusted Abiola, a man who opened his arms to every tribe and religion in the country, to run an inclusive government in which no man or woman would be denied his or rights as a Nigerian citizen by the profession of his faith.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a man who has also thrown his arms around every tribe in the country. He has offered his shoulders for those in pain to lean on; he has used his wealth to bring succour to the needy.”
Adamu also cautioned the party leaders and members on the need to be united, saying the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), could take advantage of internal crisis within the ruling party.
“The unveiling of the vice presidential candidate today sends out a strong signal to the country that our great party is ready and united around the common cause of coasting home with victory at every level in 2023.
“But we must not be unmindful of the hurdles ahead. It is time to purge ourselves of the bitterness arising from our individual losses in the party primaries. It is time to submit ourselves to the Will of God and the party and do nothing to sabotage its well-laid plans for victory. The other political parties want what we want, and that is, to win and form the next government.
“If by any acts of omission or commission we give in to bitterness and pettiness or fail to see the larger picture or take any of the political parties for granted, we would constitute an obstacle to the victory of our party. As the faithful would like to say, that will not be our portion. Our winning strategy must be anchored on a unity of purpose. I urge us to begin our march now towards the sunrise,” the APC national chairman added.