The North-Central and North-West geo-political zones are not happy with the All Progressives Congress’ presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, over his choice of a former Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, from the Northeast as his running mate.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Special Intervention, Ismael Ahmed, disclosed this on Wednesday during an interview on a Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily.
Last Sunday, Tinubu had announced Shettima as his vice presidential candidate.
But the development has continued to generate mixed reactions with the Christian community in Nigeria condemning the APC presidential flagbearer for picking a fellow Muslim as his running mate.
Ahmed, who stated that he’s less concerned about the candidates’ religion, said the North-West and North-Central had hoped to pick the vice presidential slot, noting that the two regions had contributed more votes to the APC than any other part of the country.
The presidential aide said, “I just came back from Kano yesterday and I know that there are a lot of people who are miffed [for not getting the Vice Presidential slot].
“For example, the Northwest, which has the largest voting population of about 20 million upward, six out of the seven governors are members of the APC, five of which are in their second term, none of which contested against the presidential candidate at the convention. The only person, the Jigawa State governor, that bought a form dropped at the last minute and they thought they would pick him.
“A lot of people, rank and file within the party, thought the Northwest could have been considered.
“Some people thought that North-Central had not had a presidential or vice-presidential candidate in a democratic setting. Even though they have a larger voting population more than the North-East, they were not considered.”
The former APC youth leader, however, noted that there would always be complaints regardless of the person chosen.
He stated that the decision to pick Shettima was not an easy one for the APC presidential flagbearer, adding that less emphasis should be placed on the religion of the candidates.
He said, “When Bola Ahmed Tinubu was elected as the presidential candidate at the Eagle Square, I am not sure religion was considered.
“I think he was nominated because of how much work and investment he has put in the political and democratic structure in the last 30 years that gave him that edge over his co-contestants not because he is a Muslim.”
Ahmed insisted that the APC presidential flagbearer’s choice of Shettima was based on his pedigree and political prowess not because of his religion.