AHEAD of the 2023 elections, President Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday assured the All Progressives Congress, APC, vice presidential running mate, Kashim Shetima that God’s willing the party will emerge victorious.
President Buhari, who expressed optimism that the APC presidential candidate would win next year’s election and take over from him said, “I will respond to your speech when I am handing over to you and your boss. God willing, you are going to win.”
Striking a chord of humour at the State House while responding to a flowery speech by Senator Shettima, the President, who received the VP Candidate shortly after he was unveiled by the leadership of the Party and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said he is very happy with the choice of the former Governor of Borno State as running mate.
President Buhari in a statement issued by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said, “I wish you the best. Your consistency in the party is very respectful. You served your two terms as Governor and finished well.
“You have kept touch with your base. At every important occasion or event, you are maintaining support for the one who succeeded you. This is commendable.”
The President expressed strong optimism that the APC ticket will emerge victorious in 2023.
In his remarks, the Vice Presidential Candidate thanked the President for his “empathy, support and positive role,” leading to his emergence as Running Mate to the APC Presidential Candidate.
He praised the President for having “a special place in your heart for Borno and Northeast,” adding, “I can cite 20-30 instances of support you have rendered, for which you will be remembered.”
He mentioned the establishment of the North East Development Commission, NEDC, and the Independent Power Plant for Maiduguri by the NNPC, “after many years of darkness,” saying that “words cannot describe our appreciation of your support. We will remain eternally grateful.”
The former Governor of Borno State requested the President to appreciate his successor, Babagana Zulum who was in his company, along with the Minister of State, Agriculture, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, for spurning “recurring mention” of him and pressure from his Governor colleagues to bid for the Vice Presidential ticket.
The Candidate pledged to remain “loyal and devoted” to the President, promising that his Vice-Presidency will not be for the “troika of Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri,” but for all Nigeria, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or geographical place of origin.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Shettima said “President Buhari has given me his words that he will campaign vigorously for the party.”
He said the President assured that he will campaign vigorously for the 2023 ticket for the party to win.
Conveying the President’s remarks, Senator Shettima added that his unveiling is not a novel occurrence but a re-enactment of the MKO and Kingibe ticket and should not be viewed as a decision made on the basis of ethnicity or religion.