Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, All Progressives Congress (APC) 2023 Presidential Candidate has expressed absolute respect for adherents of Christian and Muslim faiths in the country.
Tinubu, in a letter on Sunday while announcing his choice of Sen. Kashim Shettima, a Muslim, as his running mate, said he was not oblivious of the religious and ethnic sensitivities of the country.
He said the he chose Shettima, a former two-term governor of Borno and a serving senator representing Borno Central in the overriding interest of the country.
“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 said I should pick a Muslim to appeal to the Muslim community, clearly, I cannot do both.
“Both sides of the debate have impressive reasons and passionate arguments supporting their positions, both arguments are right in their own ways,” Tinubu said.
He further assured that if elected the country’s next president with the support of all Nigerians, he would ensure uncommon progress.
He said this would require innovation and steps never taken, adding that It would also require decisions that are politically difficult and rare.
He advocated the need to jettison the politics of ethnic and religious sentiments and imbibe the core value of competence and service delivery in political offices.
“May I say this to all of you, especially those disappointed in my selection based on religious considerations, I will not and cannot ignore the religious concerns and ethnic sensitivities of our people.
“Taking them into due consideration is an important part of good and able governance”, Tinubu said.
He said that the challenges facing the country require placing competence in governance above religious sentiments.
“Religion, ethnicity and region cannot always and fully determine our path.
“To forge ahead as a nation towards development and prosperity, we must break free of old binds.
“We must recalibrate our political calculations to where competence and fairness matters, more than reducible demographics”, Tinubu maintained.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tinubu announced Shettima as his running mate earlier in Daura, Katsina, where he paid Sallah homage on President Muhammadu Buhari (NAN).