The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has stated reasons for choosing Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Tinubu noted this in a statement on Sunday by a spokesman of the Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga. Since he announced the choice of the former governor of Borno State- a Muslim, concerns have been raised especially from the Christian community in the country.
The former Lagos State Governor said he believes the country’s challenges require placing competence in governance above religious sentiments.
“Religion, ethnicity, and region cannot always and fully determine our path.”
“To forge ahead as a nation towards development and prosperity, we must break free of old binds. We must recalibrate our political calculations to where competence and fairness matter, more than reducible demographics.”
According to the statement, Tinubu expressed his absolute respect and regard for both the Christian and Muslim faiths in the country.
He said that, in making his choice, he was not blind to the nation’s religious and ethnic sensibilities but rather did so in the nation’s best interests.
“I am mindful of the energetic discourse concerning the possible religion of my running mate,” the APC flagbearer said. “Just and noble people have talked to me about this; some have counselled that I should select a Christian to please the Christian community, others 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 way. But neither is right in the way Nigeria needs now.”
Tinubu added, “As President, I hope to govern this country towards uncommon progress. This will require innovation. It will require steps never taken. It will also require decisions that are politically difficult and rare.
“May I say this to all of you, especially those disappointed in my selection based on religious considerations. I will not and cannot ignore the religious concerns and ethnic sensitivities of our people. Taking them into consideration is an important part of good and able governance.”