The presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will, on Thursday, present former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, as his substantive running mate to the leadership of the party.
Shettima will be officially unveiled by 1.00pm at the APC secretariat in Abuja.
This was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday night by the spokesman for the Bola Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga.
The development is coming three days after Tinubu told newsmen that Shettima was the “chosen one” after his closed-door meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at his private residence in Daura, Katsina State.
Tinubu’s declaration occurred less than an hour after the APC placeholder, Ibrahim Masari, officially stepped down as vice presidential nominee.
His decision was said to have infuriated the North-West stakeholders, including the governors, who felt the national leader of the party should have, at least, informed them before making the premature announcement.
Barely 24 hours after the unveiling of Shettima, the ruling party received barrage of criticisms from concerned Nigerians, religious leaders, opposition parties and the Christian Association of Nigeria.
The series of backlash had fuelled reports that Tinubu and the leadership of the APC may consider dropping Shettima from the race and pick a Northern Christian with two days left to the deadline of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
However, the camp of the former Lagos State governor had denied the report, saying the negative review being peddled by a select few was not enough to force them to abandon their vice presidential candidate.
Speaking with our correspondent, the spokesman for the Bola Tinubu Campaign Organisation stated that Tinubu would not be cowed into taking such unpopular decision.
“That is not possible. There is nothing like that going on in our camp. We have seen this move before; all these campaigns to pitch us against fellow Nigerians. It happened in 1993 and the result was clear. There was pressure from several quarters for (MKO) Abiola to drop (Babagana) Kingibe because of his Muslim background.
“I pray people will come back to their senses to discover that what they should be looking at is not religion but competence of the candidate to deliver and take the country to a greater height. They will soon realise that. As I said earlier, there is no likelihood that our presidential candidate will drop Shettima. He has selected him and Shettima will remain. He is a cool candidate. Either of them can be a president,” he said.