The flagbearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Tinubu announced Shettima as his running mate after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at his private residence in Daura, Katsina State, saying Shettima was chosen to promote good governance, but the party did not make any official statement or announcement of this important decision until four days after.
However, the national chairman of APC, Abdullahi Adamu, on Wednesday, said the “Muslim-Muslim ticket is an act of God”, reassuring that Christians have nothing to fear, meanwhile, the party has postponed the official announcement of Shettima as its vice substantial running mate to Tinubu for the 2023 general election.
It appears that there is a crack within the party with the outburst of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and a Tinubu ally, Babachir Lawal, who is the head of the panel set up to assist in the selection of a viable running mate for Asiwaju.
Lawal condemned the choice of the former Borno State Governor, Shettima, describing the all-Muslim pairing as a disastrous error.
APC’s controversial running mate, Shettima was scheduled to have been presented to party members at the APC national secretariat, Abuja, yesterday, but an APC official told reporters the event had been shifted indefinitely without any official explanation.
The directive for the postponement was reportedly given by the party’s deputy national secretary. It is expected that the party will announce a new date to announce if indeed they have finalised that Shettima will be the running mate and APC is going ahead with the controversial Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Sources said this might not be unconnected to the barrage of criticisms from concerned Nigerians, religious leaders, opposition parties and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the choice of Shettima and that the APC leadership may consider dropping him to pick a Northern Christian with few days left to the deadline of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
As it was with the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since the announcement of a running mate to its presidential candidate, all is not well within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), especially since Sunday when its flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, announced Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate. That choice of Muslim-Muslim ticket has elicited spirited and passionate reactions from different quarters.