The person Nigeria needs is a leader who understands how to deal with current global economic dynamics and someone who will be acceptable in all parts of the country.
Those were the words of the Director General of the Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Kashim Shettima, while speaking on TVC’s current affairs programme, Journalist Hangout.
He insists that the All Progressives Congress will be doing itself a lot of good by picking an aspirant who has the capacity to march the candidate of the leading Peoples Democratic Party.
The former governor of Borno state described the reception and acceptability of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as overwhelming. He described their visits to Ibadan and Abeokuta on Thursday thunderous. “The reception accorded to our candidate has been very wonderful. We were in Ibadan yesterday. The thunderous ovation in Oyo and Ogun state and actually with the emergence of Atiku Abubakar, the dynamics has completely changed. Asiwaju is the only candidate with the pedigree, with the brand name that stand shoulder to shoulder with Atiku or even more, because if his stature. By God’s grace our candidate will emerge the flagbearer of APC in the next 72hours. It’s not a subject of dispute but a question of time.
In what he described as deliberate misrepresentation and distortion, Senator Shettima said: “And Yesterday, in Abeokuta, he made some remarks that were deliberately distorted and quoted out of context. And this is something we have been saying repeatedly. Those that have nothing to show want us to go low. Whether the opponent of Tinubu want to know and accept his roles not only in the emergence of Buhari as APC candidate but in his victory in 2015, Asiwaju was instrumental to Buhari’s victory in 2015.”
Senator Shettima stated further: “In 2011 presidential election as a CPC candidate, Buhari scored 2689 votes in Ekiti, 17,600 in Ogun, 6,997 in Osun. But in 2015, President Buhari got 30,8290 in Ogun, 383,603 in Osun, 120,133 in Ekiti. Of course, the president has been performing very well in the north, but despite this he couldn’t win in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Tinubu deserves to be treated with dignity and decorum because he has paid his dues. Without the bloc votes the South gave us in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari wouldn’t have emerged as president.”
Mr. Shettima who comes from the North Eastern part of Nigeria believes that giving every part of the country a sense of belonging is more important than regional demands.
“My own take on this is simple. APC itself is an amalgam of contested interests. It was a child of necessity. It was born out of ANPP, ACN, CPC, APGA and of course the new PDP. Power has resided in the north for the past 8years, justice, equity demand power should move to the South. Some people say anything goes in politics, but believe me, not everything that goes in politics. There’s no clear guaranty that picking candidate from the north APC we’ll win in 2023. Apart from my governor, Professor Zulum, there’s nobody in the north that can win 2million votes on its own.
The north and the south are the Nigeria’s political configuration. The northeast is a constituent part of northern Nigeria. For me as a Kanuri man, there a very thin line that divides me with someone from Katsina or Jigawa. I am a Kanuri with Fulani blood in my vein, so we are essentially one people having the same culture and religion.
On consensus, the former governor said: “a lot of water has passed under the bridge. We are approaching the primaries in the next 72hours. Certainly, there are some aspirants that will step down for others where our candidate will emerge.
In fairness to the president, most of us governor when we were leaving the scene, we had input in who becomes our successor. The president is a democrat and he will allow the delegate to do needful.
People are underrating his friendship with Tinubu. They have come a long way. If there’s anyone with the array of contestants, Asiwaju is the leader among his mentees, If at all President Buhari will endorse anyone, it will Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is the pay pack time. I believe our dear president.
Speaking on the fitness and wellness of Asiwaju Tinubu, the campaign director general said: ” Asiwaju is mentally elicit and alert. Leadership is not the ability to carry bags of cement but mental ability to come up with solutions. We are not preparing for the Olympics but governance.
“Tinubu is physically and mentally fit to lead this country. He had knee injury but what is wrong about that. Asiwaju is even more fit than I am. I am diabetic, I cannot eat certain things but Asiwaju can.” Senator Shettima said.