2023: Pay-back time for Tinubu, Shettima tells Buhari, APC

… says presidency not Olympic Games

Former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to see the presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State, as pay-back time for what he did for the party to come power in 2015.

Shettima, who gave this indication at a conference organised by the Support Groups Management Council (SGMC) for Tinubu in Abuja Monday, also said the presidency is not an Olympic Games that deserves physical strength.

He attributed the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC National Convention in 2014 to Tinubu.

He said: “In 2015, some aspirants with a very huge war chest were itching to clinch the ticket of the APC, like the rock of Gibraltar, Asiwaju and his progressive team stood solidly behind the candidate of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The senator representing Borno Central in the Senate questioned where the new members of what he called: “The Buhari’s Church of Latter Days Saints,” saying their political loyalty did not stay with the President in that particular convention.

Shettima stated that power should shift to the South in 2023 for equity, justice as well as fairness, and Tinubu should be given the choice of first refusal as more than any other person, he had sacrificed more for the APC.

Dismissing what he described as mischievous fixation on Tinubu’s age and the wild conclusions that he is physically unsuitable for the office of the president, Shettima said: “We are not here to prepare for the Olympics, but an institution that relies on the superiority of ideas to thrive.”

He said Tinubu is a tested, accomplished and large-hearted leader who has invested his resources in building an extensive network of political mentees, such as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing; Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior; Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, Governor Fayemi Kayode, among others.

Also speaking at the occasion, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr David Babachir, said Tinubu has no equal in terms of suitability of the person fit to take over the governance of the country from President Buhari and bring APC back on the track where it derailed.

Babachir, who stated that the APC National Leader would clinch the party’s Presidential ticket with whatever mode of primary election, however, said as democrats, the team would have a direct method that involves all the card-carrying members of the party in the choosing process.

“Since forming government at the centre and in many states across the federation for the past seven and a half years, the objective of building a cohesive and virile political party has eluded the leadership of the APC. This has not only limited the capacity of the government to deliver on the promises made to Nigerians but has also created legitimate doubt on the sustainability of the party.

“The incapacity of the party to even harmonise and synergise policy direction of the Federal Government with that of states it controls, especially in key critical areas around which the campaigns were run, speaks volumes about its incompetence,” he noted.

In his remarks, the Director-General of the Support Groups Management Council, Abdulmumin Jibrin, said the conference was a gathering of delegates from the over 2,500 support groups for Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, who is mandated to embark on aggressive mobilisation from the national to the ward level and polling units.

“Whether it is the direct primaries or the indirect primaries that is adopted, support groups are key. If it is the direct primaries, you are the voters. I don’t see how anybody can defeat us in an election. If it is indirect primaries where delegates are going to vote, these delegates are not going to drop from heaven. These delegates are your neighbours. They are your relatives.

“2023 is about our future, we can’t toil with it. We can’t take chances. We wanted the best hand. Yes, within the APC we have said repeatedly, we have very good hands. We have very good and competent and qualified people that can be president, but we have someone that has an edge and beyond having an edge, we want someone that combines the competence, the qualification and the capacity to win the election; and who has the whole of that all combined? Asiwaju,” he concluded.




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