The vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shettima has urged Nigerians to forget religious sentiments and focus more on the larger picture and tasks before the next leader of the country and how to move the country forward.
According to him, what Nigeria need now is a leadership that can transform the nation into a just and fair society where everyone will have a sense of belonging irrespective of the religion practised by the leaders.
Since the presidential candidate of the APC, Ahmed Tinubu, recently announced Shettima as his running mate, Christians and other Nigerians, including members of the ruling APC have been condemning the development.
Their grouse is that Tinubu, being a Muslim should not select a Muslim as his running mate knowing the role of religion in Nigerian politics. Some are even accusing them of plots to Islamise Nigeria with the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
However, Shettima, who has been silent on the matter, spoke out on Friday, while addressing members of the APC Professional Forum, who paid him a visit in Abuja.
The former Borno State governor said, “They are accusing him (Tinubu) of an attempt to Islamise the country; has he started with Islamising his own family?”
Shettima, who currently represents Borno Central senatorial district at the National Assembly, said there was no such plan to Islamise Nigeria with his selection as Tinubu’s running mate.
He said, “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; yes, his running mate might be a Muslim, but his life mate for over 40 years is not only a Christian, but a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
“He did not enforce his own Islamic faith on his own children. He was the first governor to hand over mission schools to the owners and has groomed people from all walks of life.
“I think we have to look at the larger picture; the task before us is to transform this nation into a just and fair society where everyone will have a sense of belonging. We are a kaleidoscope of colours; we should learn to accommodate and embrace each other.”