By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Muslim youths have rejected the choice of Senator Kashim Shettima as the running mate to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the forthcoming presidential election.
They want Tinubu to replace the former governor of Borno with a Christian political leader or cleric from the North without any delay to enhance the party’s fortunes ahead of the polls.
Briefing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday evening, the leader of the group, Abdullahi Saleh, said they were vehement and total in the rejection of against a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
According to him, while it must be stated that Asiwaju reserves the right to make decisions regarding his choice of running mate, such decisions must not be made against the collective sensibilities of the people.
He said, “As concerned stakeholders of the APC in the 19 Northern States in the country, we find it worrisome that such a decision could be taken without recourse to its implication on the electoral chances of the party and the attendant uproar such a decision could bring about in the country.
“It is also worrisome that of all the country’s political parties, only the APC presented a Muslim-Muslim ticket. In our opinion, this is insensitive and a gross display of a lack of respect for our Christian brothers and sisters.
“This is on the heels that the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a Muslim from South West Nigeria, and picking another Muslim from the northern part of the country as his running mate is politically and morally indefensible.
“We hold the firm conviction that such a move can boomerang with unpleasant consequences for the APC at the general elections, hence the need for the party’s leadership to make haste to correct this error of judgment,” he added.
Saleh explained that in Northern Nigeria, there are credible candidates with rich credentials and with massive grassroots following that can complement the presidential ticket of the APC in the presidential elections.
“As such, the 19 APC states Northern Muslims Forum sees the selection of Senator Kashim Shettima as an aberration that should be corrected with immediate effect by the relevant authorities within the party.
“The implication of non-action in this regard can only be imagined, so much so that the majority of the eligible voters in Northern Nigeria have elected to boycott the APC in protest of the disrespect and disregard to Northern Christians, whose population and relevance in the scheme of things in the region cannot be overemphasized.
“As a group,