By Blessing Tunoh-Asso
The political space is heating up as the All
Progressives Congress shops for a presidential candidate.
President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC governors are at loggerheads as to who will clinch the party’s ticket and match the stamina of the rival PDPs candidate former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Ahead of APCs primary election, Senator Kashim Shettima in a last minute push to sell his preferred candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu appeared on Channels TVs programme Political Today.
Out of the twenty three aspirants eyeing the coveted ticket, Shettima insists that Tinubu is the best and only candidate that can guarantee the party’s victory at the poll.
To buttress his point the former Governor of Borno state knocked out some candidates off the list, including senate President Ahmed Lawan whom he described as his kinsman as well as Vice President Yemi Osibanjo.
“Nobody has doubted the competence of professor Yomi Osibanjo; he’s a very humble, competent, cerebral person but we believe that in terms of intellect, capacity, reach and the ability to move this nation forward and most importantly for us to win the upcoming election the best candidate that the APC has is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu with a name recognition. Mind you the dynamics have changed with the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the PDP. We need someone who can match and even overshadow him.” Shettima stated.
Though he admits that the Vice President is a decent and nice personality, he dismisses his leadership potential arguing that nice people don’t make good leaders; “nice men don’t make good leaders nice men should be selling popcorn and ice cream!”
About Ahmed Lawan Shettima says “He has spent 20 years in the Senate. He has a Ph.D. in Geography. He spent a stint in the academia before joining the political industry. Does he have the administrative skill set to rule a complex nation like Nigeria? …go to Ohiafia or Izochukwu and ask for Ahmed Lawan the first person that will come to their mind is that of a tomatoe dealer who is bringing tomatoe from Maiduguri. Go to any part of the south does the brand name sells?” He asked rhetorically dismissing Lawan as less popular than a tomatoe dealer in Maiduguri.
Shettima did not directly mention the former minister of transport Rotimi Amaechi who is also an aspirant but threw punches the way of former COAS Yusuf Buratai with whom he has had a gruffy relationship. Buratai is a part of Amaechi’s campaign team.
A question about a northern candidate with the capacity to break even with PDPs Atiku was the perfect opportunity for Kashim to stoke old fires.
“We had a Chief of Army Staff from my own state but the security situation deteriorated under his stewardship; the present CDS is an Ikan man, the present COAS is from Sokoto but our security situation has improved tremendously so I am not particular about the north east or ahmed Lawan but I am particular about justice, equity and fairness.” Shettima declares.
So far ten aspirants have been disqualified by the John Oyegun led screening committee ahead of the primaries. The severally rescheduled primaries will now hold between Monday 6 June to 8 2022.