By Luminous Jannamike
The Middle-Belt Congress, MBC, has asked the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Kashim Shettima, to resign as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s running mate in next year’s Presidential election, to save the party from perceived impending electoral misfortune in 2023.
At a news briefing in Abuja, yesterday, MBC’s leader, Mr. Bilal Abdullahi, among others, said: “The Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC, comes with its attendant political baggage. If the APC, as a party, is desirous of making any meaningful impact in the 2023 presidential elections, it behooves on the party to retrace its steps in the composition of its presidential ticket.
“We are constrained to believe that the self-confession of Senator Kashim Shettima towards the Christian community might be a ruse, as his actions of late do not indicate that of a religious tolerant individual.
“It remains a statement that since the nomination of Senator Kashim Shettima, the APC evolved into a riotous organization with various stakeholders in abhorrence for the choice of a Northern Muslim at the detriment of credible and capable Northern Christians.
“It remains morally unjustifiable for Senator Kashim Shettima to hold onto the vice presidential slot of the APC because such action has heated the polity in ways too numerous to mention.
“The incomprehensible fact remains that the leadership of the APC is aware of the threats posed to its electoral success with the Muslim-Muslim Ticket, yet, it has remained adamant about the uproar its choice of Muslim-Muslim ticket has elicited in the polity.
“We appeal to Shettima to act with honour by resigning his nomination as the vice presidential candidate of the APC in the interest of peace and tranquillity and to salvage whatever is left of the APC in the buildup to the 2023 presidential elections.
“Senator Kashim Shettima must, in good conscience, admit that his nomination has indeed brought about ethnic and religious tension in the country, which remains unacceptable in this critical period of our existence where there are concerted efforts at unifying the country along ethnic and religious lines.
“The fact that a Muslim-Muslim ticket cannot unite the country is enough for Senator Kashim Shettima to reconsider his vice presidential candidature. As a former governor who witnessed one of the bloodiest conflicts in Nigeria, he should know better about the cost of conflict in the society.
“The Middle Belt Congress strongly advises Senator Kashim Shettima to look at the presidential ticket of other political parties to understand that he stands to go in history as that individual whose blind pursuit of power undermined the Christian community in Nigeria.
“It remains inexcusable, and the Middle Belt Congress is tempted to believe that Senator Kashim Shettima might have forced himself on the APC Presidential candidate without recourse to the far-reaching implication such a move would have on the polity.”