The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) said on Sunday that All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu failed to take Nigeria’s plurality into account with his decision to choose the former governor of Nigeria. Borno State Kashim Shettima as running mate in 2023 general election.
Tinubu announced the former Borno State governor as his running mate after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina.
Many Nigerians, including groups and individuals, had warned the APC against fielding two like-minded candidates in the 2023 elections.
In a statement by its chairman, Bitrus Pogu, the forum described the decision as a danger to the well-being of Nigerians.
The MBF said the ticket was an evil plot that would lead to APC’s defeat in 2023.
The statement read: “This is an unfortunate, unfortunate development in the sense that we are living in a terrible time where the country is plagued by insurgents from all over from Borno with Boko Haram and Shettima is from there.
“And if that happens now without taking into account the plurality of this country in terms of region, religion and other issues, I think that’s an unfortunate development.
“And for the APC presidential candidate, bowing to such pressure is an unfortunate development. We would like them to consider what would be beneficial for Nigeria at this time.
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“Nigerians have not recovered from the insurgency coming mainly from an Islamic background, this shows that the APC is insensitive to the plight of Nigeria and Nigerians. And it is not ready to bring healing, reconciliation and save Nigeria from the problems it faces.
“Now it is also an unfortunate development because this time is not the same with MKO Abiola time, which was several years ago. These are times when religion should be handled with care.
“We believe that Nigerians, Muslims and Christians, would rise up and defeat this evil because if he succeeds, I doubt Nigeria will come out of it.
“The note represents a danger for the collective well-being and the unity of the country. At a time when we have insurgents of different forms, Boko Haram, shepherd militias, ISWAP and others of Islamic religion all from the North and then to say that you are imposing a Muslim-Muslim ticket on Nigeria, this is the most unpatriotic at a time like this.
“It means that APC has no sense of plurality and unity in Nigeria. Of course, if you look at the appointments of the incumbent government, you will see that nepotism and religious leanings have been the case. And it would be a shame if the APC went further in this direction.
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