Tinubu, others push back against attacks on Muslim-Muslim ticket

by Tunde Joshua, Abuja 

  •  #EndSARS convener berates Christian critics

As the July 15 window for replacement of running mates lapsed at the weekend, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu stood by his choice of Kashim Shettima and said he refused to bow to any pressure to rescind his decision as a result of public outcry that greeted the choice.

The presidential candidate said he did not allow himself to be pressured or blackmailed into dropping Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate.

Earlier, the spokesman of the Bola Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga said that the former Lagos State governor is an astute politician who takes responsibility for decisions taken.

“That is not possible. There is nothing like that going on in our camp. We have seen this move before, all these campaigns to pitch us against fellow Nigerians. It happened in 1993, and the result was clear. There was pressure from several quarters for (MKO) Abiola to drop (Babagana) Kingibe because of his Muslim background.

“I pray people will come back to their senses to discover that what they should be looking at is not religion but competence of the candidate to deliver and take the country to a greater height” he added.

Also, the reaction that greeted the Muslim/ Muslim presidential ticket of APC is yet to abate as Christian bodies in the country have been castigated for rejecting the choice of Shettima.

Segun Awosanya, the convener of the October 2020 #EndSARS nationwide protest has criticized Nigerian Christians for raising dust over APC’s choice of a Muslim presidential candidate and a Muslim vice presidential candidate.

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Awosanya was categorical in saying Nigerian Christians in particular and others who condemned APC’s choice as being hypocritical.

Presenting the same faith ticket by APC should not be condemned “as long as they are capable of improving the security of the country, creating jobs and others.

“Our hypocrisy has reached troubling heights but that to me is not a critical discussion as much as how we are going to improve our national security, create jobs, unite our people, improve our economy, devolve more powers to the states and eradicate poverty”

Awosanya posited that Nigerians should see the religious difference of the country beyond Christianity and Islam. He said those who belong to other beliefs are not oftentimes considered in national matters

“We have had Muslim-Christian ticket forever yet our issues persist. The sensitivities of popular belief are there but do that better the conversation of equity in a country where other religious beliefs are so marginalized and deemed non-existent?

“Sango, Osun, Ogun, Ifa, Obatala, Amadioha and other worshippers are out there within our secular state & yet we pretend our religious belief is binary? Again, in a country with women having almost an equal population, we don’t see the need to push Female inclusion in Government?”

Meanwhile, following the selection of Shettima as Vice Presidential candidate, the APC has picked a former state Attorney General, Kaka Shehu Lawan as the party’s candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial district

The Former Commissioner of Justice scored 459 votes out of 480 valid votes in the party’s senatorial primaries.

Declaring Lawan as the party”s choice, the returning officer and former Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Uba Magari said, “having satisfied the provisions of the electoral law, by the authority vested on me by the National Chairman of our great, I declared that Bar Kaka Shehu Lawan, former Attorney General, has been validly elected as the APC candidate for Borno Central Senatorial seat,”

Accepting the party’s offer, Lawan appreciated the state delegates for choosing him while urging them to mobilize eligible voters for the ongoing permanent voter registration exercise.

He assured of quality representation at the Senate even as he asked the people to always pray for their leaders.

State Governor, Babagana Zulum also hailed Lawan’s emergence adding that it was a ‘divine’ occurrence.

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