By Jude Opara, Abuja
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 presidential election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday named the former governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Tinubu who had been engrossed in a wide range of consultations over the choice of his running mate made the announcement in Daura on Sunday when he presented his choice to President Muhammadu Buhari who is observing the Sallah holidays in his home town.
The issue of Tinubu’s running mate has became thorny with both the Christian bloc and in the country urging the former governor of Lagos state to show religious sensitivity by balancing the ruling party’s ticket with a Christian running mate, whole Muslims have largely seen no wrong in Tinubu brushing aside Christians and go for a running mate of the same faith. The Christians believed that the unwritten code of having balance at the Presidency should be sustained to stave off dominance of one religion at the echelon of governance in the country, especially as their are abundant well-qualified and competent Christians from the North, while Muslims agree that competence is key, they insist that competent choice of Tinubu’s running mate should come from their religious fold.While those sympathetic to Tinubu’s presidency quest say such an insensitivity in religious society such as Nigeria may blow back, Muslim-Muslim campaigners had always cited the 1993 incident when the country voted a Muslim-Muslim ticket of the late Chief Moshood Kasimawo Abiola and Alhaji Babagana Kingibe. It was an ill-fate election whose outcome was annulled by the military that supervised it.
Before the choice of Shettima was finally unvieled on Sunday, Earlier on, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State had stated clearly that Tinubu and the APC was going for a Muslim-Muslim ticket, saying “The person is also by accident of birth a Muslim. The considerations for the choice of a running mate were dictated by the need to choose an individual capable of working with the presidential candidate to take Nigeria to greater heights’’.
Early yesterday, before Shettima’s unveiling, News Agency of Nigeria, a federal media outfit had quoted a highly-competent anonymous source in the Tinubu Campaign Organisation as stating
that Tinubu would make the name of the candidate public this week.
“The vice-presidential nominee may most likely be a former governor and senator from the North-east part of Nigeria. The person is also by accident of birth a Muslim, (confirming what Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State said on Saturday that Tinubu had settled for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.)
The NAN source added that in Tinubu in making the choice didn’t consider religion, but competence, exposure and intellectual depth of the candidate.
“The considerations given for the choice of a running mate were dictated by the need to choose an individual capable of working with the presidential candidate to take Nigeria to greater heights,’’ the source was quoted as having said.
Given that religion is a touchy issue in theccountry, the Muslim-Muslim ticket hit a raw nerve even before its unveiling. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had warned before now that the leading political parties and their candidates should stave off the idea of fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 presidential election.
According to the influential association, should any of the parties ignore the warning, there may be dire, unimaginable consequences, given that such a move constituted a threat to the fragile peace and unity of the country.
In a statement released on Friday, June 10, 2022, by its National Secretary, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, CAN noted that with the current challenges facing the country, political parties must desist from actions that could further polarize the people.
“CAN urges that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered in the choice of running mates of the presidential candidates. We do not subscribe to Christian/Christian ticket or Muslim/Muslim ticket. Politicians can talk politics but we have stated our view long before now.
“Any party that tries same religion ticket will fail. This is not 1993. Even when we have joint Muslim/Christian ticket, the Church still goes through Hell. Only God knows the number of Christians that have been killed in the last seven years with no one apprehended or prosecuted,”
its National Secretary said
CAN equally argued that there was no political party that has no great, good and patriotic Christians who can preside over the affairs of the country including serving as the Vice President , describing the argument of competence and performance as the smokescreen to brush aside Christian in the decision- making loop in the country.
Meanwhile, in announcing his running mate on Sunday, Tinubu who is obviously aware of the likely backlash of his decision said he settled for Shettima after a wide range of deliberations from a wide range of opinion and interest groups in the country.
He said the choice was based o the ability of the running mate to effectively assist in the governance of the country.
Tinubu said, “Having now listened to the sage, careful advice of a broad section of the party and of the nation, there are a few points I feel I must make about the exceptional and extraordinary person with whom I will share the APC ticket and the principles of open and good governance that informed this choice.
“All my life, my decisions regarding the team around and supporting me have always been guided by the principles of competence, innovation, compassion, integrity, fairness, and adherence to excellence.
“Our focus, therefore, must be on getting the job done; and that means getting the very best and competent people to do it. In this crucial moment, where so much is at stake, we must prioritize leadership, competence, and the ability to work as a team over other considerations.
“I am mindful of the energetic discourse concerning the possible religion of my running mate. Just and noble people have talked to me about this. Some have counselled that I should select a Christian to please the Christian community. Others have said I should pick a Muslim to appeal to the Muslim community. Clearly, I cannot do both.
“Both sides of the debate have impressive reason and passionate arguments supporting their position. Both arguments are right in their own way. But neither is right in the way that Nigeria needs at the moment. As president, I hope to govern this nation toward uncommon progress. This will require innovation. It will require steps never before taken. It will also require decisions that are politically difficult and rare”.
It could be recall, that while the negotiations were ongoing, Tinubu had forwarded the name of Kiiru Masari to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a placeholder. Masari announced his resignation on Saturday in accordance with the national electoral body stipulation
Masari stated that his decision to quit his position followed a crucial discussion he had with the APC presidential flag-bearer, Bola Tinubu.
His statement read in part: ”This is to inform our esteemed party leaders under our able President Muhammadu Buhari, teeming party members and the great people of Nigeria, of the outcome of a crucial discussion I just had with the flag-bearer of our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
”Recall that I had the singular honour and privilege of being nominated as the running mate to Asiwaju Tinubu last month after a keenly contested presidential primaries ahead of the 2023 general elections.
”But, after much reflection and wider consultations, I now wish to step down. I realized that my decision will enable Asiwaju have more latitude to give more accommodation and inclusion that will position our party to win the coming elections, with the support of the people of Nigeria.
”In stepping down, I believe I can still serve our party and the country in several other capacities.”
Masari further revealed that he had since submitted his letter of withdrawal as the vice presidential candidate to Bola TInubu in the forthcoming election.
”I wish to confirm that I have submitted my withdrawal letter and affidavit to that effect as the Vice Presidential Candidate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed TInubu in the coming elections.
”On behalf of myself and family, I wish to sincerely thank Asiwaju Tinubu — the incoming President, Insha Allah — for his trust in me and we promise to remain steadfast in our support for him and the party.”
Again, Wike, Obi Meet Behind Closed-Doors in Port Harcourt
The aggrieved governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has for the second time in few weeks met behind closed doors with the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
The meeting which held in Wike’s residence had in attendance the former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko.
This is not the first time Wike will be meeting politicians of rival political parties in his residence after losing the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), presidential and vice president tickets to Atiku and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
It was gathered that the meeting was to woo Wike to Labour Party, ahead of the 2023 general election.
Celebrating the meeting on his Twitter handle on Monday, Mimiko shared a photo with the politicians, saying that it was nice to spend some time with them.
Terrorism: NSCDC Declares Emergency Security Measures in Schools Nationwide￼
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has declared a state of emergency in schools nationwide.
The Commandant General, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, represented by Deputy Commandant General ( DCG ), in charge of Crisis and Disaster Management, DCG Nnamdi Nwinyi, disclosed this in a two-day Train-the-Trainer Capacity Building Workshop at the Corps National Headquarters, Sauka, Abuja.
He said the state of emergency declared on schools nationwide was a proactive step in protecting Nigeria’s educational institutions.
According to him, the NSCDC has trained its Specialised Female Squad Unit on sustainable measures and strategies, to be used in protecting schools nationwide, thereby curtailing security threats.
The Commandant General observed that the workshop was “apt, timely and germaine to the implementation of the Safe School Initiative of the Federal Government.”
He stated that the workshop was coming at a time when the nation is contending with security challenges, which he said necessitated the need for more pragmatic actions to whittle down the menace of insecurity in the country.
According to him, the Specialised Female Squad, since its formation has gained significant mileage against the ugly trend of the kidnapping of school children for a run.
He commended the Squad for their deliberate efforts in repelling numerous kidnapping attempts on students and more importantly, for keeping schools safe at all times.
The CG charged the Unit to remain focused, resilient, and committed to the security of schools and the protection of students, teachers, and other workers.
“The learning environment should be devoid of violence and crimes to attain educational excellence, which is key to the growth and development of the nation.
“Nothing in the world could be so precious as our children, which is why we have declared an emergency in this sector to mitigate the multi-faceted threats challenging the nation’s security architecture, especially attacks on institutions of learning by hoodlums, kidnappers, and bandits.
“We have developed strategic plans and a robust template that will crystalize into more precise action to prevail over these hostilities and achieve sustainable safe schools in Nigeria.
“Note that the workshop is structured to expand your capacity as members of the Female Squad unit, you are therefore to compare notes, engage in critical thinking and come up with more robust templates to achieve sustainable safe schools in Nigeria.” He said.
Dr. Audi assured that schools would remain safe and conducive for Nigerian children as the Corps is intensively l, collaborating and cooperating with other security operatives in combating all forms of criminalities across the country.
He charged participants at the workshop to take the lessons, skills, and knowledge acquired during the training down to their colleagues and subordinates for effective discharge of duties.
Chief Executive Officer, Supersonic Limited, Frank Ohwofa, in his remarks, thanked the Commandant-General, for granting their company the opportunity, to facilitate the training and praised his foresight, in creating the Specialised Female Squad.
He stated that the workshop is conceived to train the Female Squad Unit on new security trends and patterns employed by bandits and kidnappers for ransom.
“The workshop will interrogate in-depth public emergency security systems that can be deployed, by the Corps in collaboration with other stakeholders to effectively harness the kinetic assets of the Corps for maximum performance, thereby enhancing response time to violent incidents in places of learning.” He stated.
He stated that the workshop is consistent with the imperative to provide robust interventionist and proactive measures, to mitigate the multi-faceted threats confronting the nation.
He described those chosen to lead in the fight against kidnapping and other forms of insecurity threatening safe learning environment in this trying moment in our nation’s history as patriots.
He also challenged the participants to take advantage of the training, to build on the training already acquired, before now to fill necessary gaps.
He advised them to domesticate the knowledge and skills acquired in the strategic Train-The-Trainer Capacity Building Workshop, in their various State Command Headquarters.
A statement by the Director, Public Relations, DCC. Olusola Odumosu, NSCDC, National Headquarters Abuja, on Tuesday, said the CEO of Supersonic Limited, Frank Ohwofa, assured that with the cream of experts available at the workshop, the participants would leave the programme sharpened, and re-invigorated.
He added that the participants would go home better informed about new strategic planning tactics and execution of security protocols in schools.
“He called on the Federal Government, State Governments, proprietors of private school owners, and all stakeholders in the education sector, to give maximum support to the efforts of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, under the able leadership of the current Commandant – General, for better security and protection of schools, students, teachers, and workers nationwide.” The statement added.
Odinga Rejects Kenya Election Results
Raila Odinga has rejected the results of Kenya’s presidential election saying that the figures announced on Monday were “null and void”.
According to the results, Mr Odinga narrowly lost to Deputy President William Ruto.
Mr Odinga accused the head of the electoral body of a “blatant disregard of the constitution”.
“We totally without reservation reject the presidential election results,” he said.
Making his remarks in front of supporters in the capital, Nairobi, he said that there was “neither a legally elected winner nor a president-elect”.
The 77-year-old long-time opposition leader was running for president for the fifth time. He has challenged the results in the previous two elections, including successfully in 2017.
Mr Odinga accused the chairman of the electoral body Wafula Chebukati of “gross impunity” saying his team will pursue all legal options.
Minutes before Mr Odinga spoke, four of seven electoral commissioners who refused to approve Monday’s results held a press conference to give their reasons.
They accused Mr Chebukati of side-lining them and of announcing results that were full of “mathematical absurdity and defied logic”.
Juliana Cherera, the vice-chairperson of the commission, said that if you added the percentages as announced by the chairperson of the commission the sum came to 100.01%.
But some commentators have said that this is down to a simple rounding error.
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