The Tinubu Campaign Organisation has said that religion or ethnicity was far from the calculations of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu in picking former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
The group, in a statement released on Tuesday in Abuja by the TCO Director of Media and Communication, Bayo Onanuga said that clarification is coming on the eve of Shettima’s unveiling, which is slated for Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja by 11.00 am Wednesday.
He went on to state that Shettima was chosen because he is a tested politician and technocrat while also adding that If Tinubu wanted to cash in on ethnicity he would have chosen a running mate from the North West, which has the highest number of registered voters.
According to him: “If he wanted to appeal to the base instincts of religion, he would have also gone for a candidate in the Christian-dominated parts of Nigeria. But there was no such consideration. Instead, he picked a tested politician and technocrat from the minority Kanuri ethnic group from the North-East.
“The factors at play were issues germane to confronting the multi-dimensional crisis our nation faces today: insecurity, economic problems, such as the unemployment crisis facing our youths. Our candidate canvassed on his track record in Lagos to win the APC primary last June. As governor between 1999 and 2007, he transformed a decadent state into the fourth biggest economy in Africa. He believes his feat in Lagos can be replicated all over Nigeria.
“Surely, only the deep know how to call onto the deep. Nigerians have a lot to gain in having the two tested leaders at the helm of affairs. Naturally, some Nigerians with closet motives have failed to see the opportunities and possibilities the twin candidates present to our country at this time of complex security, economic and political developments, preferring to fan the embers of religion and ethnic divisions among their unsuspecting and vulnerable compatriots.
“When Nigerians stand together, they have been known to achieve incredibly positive outcomes. That is the lesson from our history. To now succumb to the base ends of identity by further straining our already complex ethnic and religious cleavages is a great disservice to the country and to citizens who had no choice about their parentage, ethnicity, or religion at birth.
“Either as Christians, Muslims, or traditional worshipers, as Nigerians, what should be important to us today and tomorrow is our commonwealth as citizens of this great nation. The TCO would like to recall the statement by Asiwaju Tinubu, by way of a closing note, when he assured all Nigerians that he was not oblivious of the religious and ethnic sensitivities of the nation and that he picked Shettima in fulfillment of the overriding interest of the country.”
This article was originally published on Naija News