From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The nomination of former Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima as running mate to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmed Tinubu, in the 2023 poll, has been rejected by the Coalition of All Progressives Congress Support Groups.
Some leaders of APC and Christian organisations had frowned at the selection of Shettima as APC’s vice presidential candidate, stressing that a Muslim-Muslim ticket was unfair to Christians.
But the group insisted on the replacement of Senator Shettima with a younger candidate, preferably, Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda, who has a Christian background.
The Coalition’s grouse was contained in a statement signed yesterday by the Convener of Coalition of APC Youth Groups, Igwe Ude-umanta and President, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Solomon Adodo, and 26 others.
They argued that the sidelining of youths from getting the party’s ticket was an attempt by APC to prevent them from making inroads when most political leaders became ministers and governors in their at thirties and forties.
“We, substantive members of Coalition of All Progressives Congress Support Groups here speaking in one voice and unanimously rejecting in totality the recent announcement of former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima as the running mate to the Presidential Candidate of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Jagaban).
“We call on the Leadership of All Progressives Congress, Progressive Governors Forum and His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reconsider the choice on running mate of the Party, and give support to the Nigerian Youths’ nomination of a young Vice Presidential Candidate by picking Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda to whom we all rally round and give all our fullest support nationwide ahead of the 2023 Presidential Election. He is the Nigerian youths’ symbol.
“This group is standing firm on Nigerian Youths Inclusion’ and hence urging the APC leadership to give a space to the youths to exercise their civil rights to actively participate and make a choice of leadership.
“We emphasize on the fact that this Coalition of APC Support Groups has found Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda (EL DABI), a true detribalised Nigerian Youth Leader worthy to be the running mate and Vice President to His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the next political dispensation.
“It is worthy of note that Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda’s Catholic gestures has endeared him to all Nigerians (Christians and Muslims alike).
“He has touched lives beyond religious barriers through all his philanthropic and humanitarian platforms, throughout the length and breadth of our noble nation, Nigeria,” the statement read.
Ude-umanta sought the intervention of the governors of the APC before the July 15th deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The Coalition of APC Support Groups is ,therefore, making a clarion call to the APC Leaders and APC Progressive Governors Forum, His Excellencies, the Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru, Mohammed Bello and Senator Kashim Shettima to Support A Youth Vice Presidential Candidate For APC,” he stated.