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Northern group insists on Shettima, flays Lagos ‘sponsored’ protest

By Abdulganiyu Alabi, Kaduna
17 August 2022   |   2:49 am
Arewa People’s Coalition has condemned what it described as “sponsored Lagos protest” by some All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters against the party’s contentious Muslim-Muslim

Shettima

Arewa People’s Coalition has condemned what it described as a “sponsored Lagos protest” by some All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters against the party’s contentious Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.

APC presidential candidate, Sen. Bola Tinubu, had chosen a fellow Muslim, Sen. Kashim Shettima, as running mate, against all appeals for a balance between the country’s two dominant faiths, Islam and Christianity.

Insisting on having Shettima as the party’s vice presidential candidate, the group disagreed with the Coalition of APC Stakeholders Network and South West Supporters of Tinubu, who asked the former governor of Borno State to step down for a Christian.

“The choice of Shettima is a product of consultations across the 36 states for a better Nigeria. This, among many other reasons, is why we insist the Tinubu/Shettima ticket is far from anything religion,” the group stated.

It, however, advised that instead of protesting and calling for the impossible now, the protesters should sheathe their swords and meet party leaders to discuss the ways to address their grievances in the interest and progress of the party.

The coalition, in a statement signed by the Chairman, Usman Fagge, considered the protest as the handiwork of mischief-makers and enemies of progress working against the chances of the ruling party winning the 2023 presidential election.

While explaining the need to jettison ethnic and religious sentiments in the choice of leaders across all tiers of governance, the group noted: “Seeking the replacement of a validly nominated running mate, whose name has been duly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is not only ridiculous but also disturbing, considering that they are acclaimed members and stakeholders of the party.

“We want the protesters to know that the APC flagbearer and former governor of Lagos State, Tinubu, chose Shettima on grounds of experience, merit, competence and ability to deliver good governance.”

According to the coalition, there is no attempt by APC or its presidential candidate to create an atmosphere for one religion to dominate the political structure and widen the gap of mistrust and destroy the delicate sense of tolerance cultivated over the years.

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