2023: Tinubu urges Nigerians to focus on competence
The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to focus on competence and ignore ethnicity, region, and religion as they elect leaders in the 2023 general elections.
Did he grant an interview?
No, Tinubu said this in a statement personally signed by him on Sunday, during a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State, where he announced senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate. Shettima, who was governor of Borno state from 2011 to 2019, was recently the Director-General of the Tinubu Campaign Organisation ahead of the party’s primaries. The choice of Shettima is in defiance to a clamor across the country for a Christian running mate.
What informed the choice of Shettima?
Speaking on the choice, Tinubu said; “A dominant theme of my political history and my personal life is my staunch belief in our diversity”, adding that “as a man with the talent, maturity, strength of character, and patriotism”, Shettima is “eminently qualified, not only to deliver that all-important electoral victory but, also, step into the shoes of the Vice President”. Tinubu then urged Nigerians to see the imperative of placing competence above religious, ethnic, and regional considerations.
The irony of Tinubu’s call While the importance of competence cannot be overstated, the call by Tinubu is quite ironic to his previous stance. A little over a month ago, Tinubu was seen in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, canvassing for the votes of Ogun state delegates ahead of the party’s presidential primary election. To Tinubu at the time, competence was of secondary consideration, as he insisted that it was the turn of Nigeria’s south, specifically the South-west geopolitical zone, to produce the country’s president.
Moments before the announcement of Shettima, Ibrahim Masari, who was earlier announced as a ‘placeholder’ for the VP slot, announced his withdrawal from the position. In a letter addressed to members of the APC, Masari said he decided to withdraw his candidacy after consultation with Tinubu