Disquiet in Northwest after Tinubu Picked Shettima

Disquiet in Northwest after Tinubu Picked Shettima

After a long period of negotiations and apparent delay, Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC has finally picked Kashim Shettima, former governor of Borno State who represents Borno central in the senate. Shettima, a long time political ally of Tinubu was with the candidate throughout his campaign for the ticket of the party. It had been speculated that the former governor of Borno was Tinubu’s choice as running mate ahead of the 2023 presidential election. But the announcement was delayed because the candidate did not want to ruffle political feathers with his choice then. First, he had to contend with the insistence of northern governors who wanted to be compensated for pulling the stunt that broke the plan of Abdullahi Adamu, national chairman of the party to impose Ahmed Lawan, senate president as the candidate of the party. Then there was the subterranean campaign that the running mate must be picked from the northwest.
Meanwhile, the governors who wanted one of them as running mate are said to have pencilled down the names of Ahmed el-Rufai of kaduna State and Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi state. Both of them are believed to be eminently qualified and had assisted the candidate in the race to pick the ticket. El-Rufai led the campaign to stop Adamu, while Bagudu stepped down for him. But some party chieftains argued that it would not be fair to pick a running mate from the same geopolitical zone as the outgoing president, who is from the zone, is also of the same party. Though he had always wanted to pick Shettima , Tinubu, in order to satisfy the governors, was said to have toyed with the idea of picking Babagana Zulum, professor and incumbent governor of Borno state since the governors said they wanted one of them. Zulum’s Borno is in the northeast geopolitical zone. That, perhaps in the calculation of the candidate, would have addressed the argument against the zone that produced the last two presidents from the north. However, Zulum was said to be unexcited about being picked as running mate for two reasons. First, he was said to have preferred to continue with his development work in Borno during a second term that he would be seeking in the next general election. His second reason is that he would not contest the slot with Shettima , who is his political benefactor and immediate predecessor. As he approached the end of his tour of duty as governor of Borno state, Shettima chose Zulum above all others running for the position. His reason was that he needed someone more energetic who has shown commitment and dedication to developmental efforts in the state to take over from him. Shettima did not just choose Zulum then he also moved round to explain the rationale behind his choice and pleaded with other aspirants to rally round him.
They did and Zulum became governor. Since he has been in office in 2019 he has become such an uncommon governor that he is seen as a foremost leader who puts the love of his people above personal safety. The quantum of development projects undertaken within three years in office has thrown the governor up in the rating of hard working leaders in the country. Reports say that Shettima is glad that Professor Zulum has shown even more energy in executive position than he did when he served in his cabinet. It is said that Shettima, unlike godfathers like him, does not interfere in the affairs of the state.
Zulum has applauded the choice of his predecessor just as some other people have done. Though the two politicians on the ticket would have to make a lot of effort to convince Christians in particular why they have to vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket. The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN is concerned that if attacks on Christians could be so high while a Christian is Vice President, it would be unimaginable in a one faith ticket. Tinubu, whose wife is a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God , RCCG arguably the largest Pentecostal Christian church in the country, has said repeatedly that religion would not shape his policy direction. But assurances like this are hard to swallow for a populace that is faced with the fear of constant attacks from terrorists including Boko Haram insurgents that want an Islamic state.

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