A political support group under the aegis of National Unity Movement for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday, urged Nigerians to look beyond the selection of former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, as the running mate to the APC presidential candidate, maintaining that Tinubu would not Islamise the nation.
The group argued that Tinubu had a track record as a detribalised Nigerian and would not even conceive a devious plan to Islamise the country as feared in some quarters.
Tinubu had, on Sunday, after a closed-door meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in Daura, Katsina State, confirmed Shettima as his running mate, a decision that had continued to elicit reactions from different stakeholders across the country.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Director General of the group, Bamidele Faparusi, called on Nigerians to embrace national unity in diversity, national integration and cohesion despite their differences.
Faparusi’s appeal was a reaction to a statement by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Segun Showunmi, who faulted the decision of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate to settle for a fellow Muslim candidate.
Faparusi described Tinubu as a “detribalised Nigerian, a great patriot, a great bridge builder and unifier, a religious tolerant man, and a believer in one God, one humanity,” adding that the ex-governor of Lagos appointed non-Lagos indigenes into his cabinet, a gesture that had proven he was the man Nigerians could trust.
“Even with a Muslim-Muslim ticket, without having any fear of religious domination and suppression, we are conscious of the secularity status of Nigeria, and Tinubu is best positioned to protect our secular state,” he said.
The former National Assembly member emphasised that “placing competence and merit above religious and ethnic consideration in choosing leaders that would steer the affairs of the nation in the right direction is what Nigerians should consider while voting in 2023.”
He also appealed to Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter Cards and vote massively for Tinubu come 2023, saying the APC presidential candidate was the only one among the presidential candidates who had deep understanding of Nigeria, its diversity and challenges and the capacity to fix the country to everyone’s satisfaction.
The NUMBAT, which is working together with other patriotic citizens across religious and ethnic divides to promote national unity in diversity ahead of the 2023 general election, said it was supporting the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, because of his detribalised and religious-tolerant nature.