The Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege has described the choice of his colleague in the upper legislative chamber, Senator Kashim Shettima as the Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as appropriate given that he is “detribalized and visionary”, adding that he is “a major plus for the APC presidential ticket”.
Senator Omo-Agege, who is also the APC governorship candidate in Delta State, recalled how the former Borno State Governor and lawmaker representing Borno Central Senatorial District played a key role in his own emergence as Deputy Senate President in 2019.
“He was and continues to be a major player, not only in the National Assembly but in our nation at large. He is a large-hearted and forward-looking leader, inclusive in perspective and shorn of all bigotry. Our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu couldn’t have made a better choice.
Omo-Agege added: “It is no surprise that the Borno State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria has immediately risen support of Shettima’s selection as Tinubu’s running mate”.
The Deputy Senate President noted that the APC Vice Presidential candidate is hospitable to other faiths and ethnic groups, and that this was evident during his tenure as Governor of Borno State from 2011 to 2019.
“As Governor of a dominantly Kanuri state, he had amongst his closest aides an Ibo Christian from Anambra State, an Urhobo Christian from Delta Central Senatorial District, a Christian from Edo State, a Yoruba Christian from the Southwest, a Fulani man from Gombe and a Hausa man from Zamfara”, Omo-Agege said.
He said that the Vice Presidential candidate is a forthright, vocal and outspoken politician who speaks truth to power. “Senator Shettima is a dogged professional, a rare breed banker, an agricultural economist and politician who is an inspiration to a new generation of leaders. His rich profile in Executive and Legislative business, public and corporate governance will always be useful in steering the ship of state. I call on Nigerians to rally round the Tinubu/Shettima ticket and vote massively for APC in all positions at the 2023 general elections”.
Tinubu announced the choice of Shettima as his running mate on Sunday, describing him as “a man with the talent, maturity, strengthen of character, and patriotism.”
Many political commentators and stakeholder groups have however described the choice as insensitive given that both Tinubu and Shettima are Muslims.