Log In
updated 8:18 AM UTC, Aug 12, 2022

2023: Tinubu Won’t Step Down For Anyone, Ex-Gov Shettima Says, Dismisses Osinbajo, Lawan, Others

Premium Times, Nigeria: The Director-General of Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Kashim Shettima, has ruled out the possibility of the former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, stepping down for any of the presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr Shettima disclosed this on Friday while appearing on “Politics Today” a political programme on Channels TV.

Mr Tinubu and 22 other aspirants were screened by a committee set up for that purpose by the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of its National convention commencing on Monday.

Among the aspirants are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajuiba, Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and former Senate President Ken Nnamani.

Mr Shettima, a former Borno State governor and serving senator, said if President Muhammadu Buhari decides to pick a consensus candidate, it must be Mr Tinubu.

In the interview, he likened the other aspirants in the race to lilliputian, while describing Mr Tinubu as an “elephant.”

“An elephant cannot step down for a lilliputian.” Mr Shettima said.

“If the president—who is a man of conscience, a God-fearing man should anoint a candidate, it has to be Bola Tinubu,” Mr Shettima said while responding to a question on the possibility of Mr Buhari picking a successor.

He said the former Lagos State governor will contest against Mr Buhari’s choice in the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) holding from June 6 to 8.

Speaking on other contenders in the race, he stated that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, stand no chance against the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

Mr Shettima described the vice president as a nice man, adding that nice men do not make good leaders.

“Osinbajo is a good man. He is a nice man. But nice men don’t make a good leader. Nice men should be selling popcorn and ice cream.”

The former Borno State governor also raised questions on the administrative capacity of the senate president and his national reach.

“I played a very prominent role in his (Lawan’s) emergence as the President of the Senate, against my own kinsman, Mohammed Ndume, but leadership goes beyond sentiment. He has spent 20 years in the senate. He has a PhD in Geography. He had a brief stint in academia before joining politics. Does he have the administrative skill set to rule a complex nation like ours? This is the million-dollar question.

“He cannot stand shoulder to shoulder with Atiku Abubakar. Lawan became a senator with 144,000 votes, I became a senator with votes that is two and half times what he garnered in Yobe.”

He added “Go to Ohiafia and ask of Ahmad Lawan, the first thing that will come to their mind is that of a tomato dealer from Maiduguri. Go to any other part of the south, does the name sell?”

Mr Shettima stated that APC has no other option other than Mr Tinubu.

‘We don’t even have an option, he is the name that sells,” he said.

Ahead of the June 6-8 convention, the party is still grappling with issues around consensus and zoning. The two issues appear to have divided the party.

John Oyegun, the chairman of the Presidential Aspirant Screening Committee, said all aspirants agreed to consensus arrangement, except one, who insisted it is either him or no one.

Before jetting out of the country to Spain during the week, Mr Buhari had urged the governors to support him in picking a candidate to succeed him ahead of the primary.

Mr Tinubu has come under fire for his outburst in Ogun State on Thursday, where he talked about how Mr Buhari could not have emerged as president if not for his support.

Tagged under

Leave a Reply