The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, said on Wednesday the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has taken the path of the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola, with his choice of running mate.
He stated this at the unveiling of the former Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, as the APC vice-presidential candidate in Abuja.
Abiola chose the then chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Amb. Babagana Kingibe, as his running mate in the 1993 election and the pair were coasting to victory before the former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, controversially annulled the election.
Adamu said: “It is now time for the APC to step out to the public space with one of its best.
“Since the presidential candidate of our party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, announced the choice of his running mate on July 11, the nation has yet to know who he is, so we welcome this opportunity to unveil him.
“As the national chairman of our party, it is both my honour and duty to unveil this distinguished son of our country and formally present him to this august body and through it, the Nigerian public.
“Let me remind Nigerians that the late MKO Abiola in the 1993 presidential election, chose a Kanuri man, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe from the North-East as his running mate.
“We are beginning to suspect there must be some synergy between the Yoruba people and the Kanuri people.
“Maybe there is a mutual attraction between them that the rest of us do not know, never mind, we will put the searchlight on them.”
He stressed that the Abiola-Kingibe ticket of 29 years ago and the current Tinubu-Shettima combination bridged one of Nigeria’s fault lines in the management of the country’s diversities.
The APC chief added: “Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for that ticket because they trusted Abiola, a man who opened his arms to every tribe and religion in the country to run an inclusive government.
“Tinubu was a man who has also thrown his arms around every tribe in the country and has offered his shoulders for those in pain to lean on.
“He has used his wealth to bring succour to the needy. He can be trusted to run an inclusive government in which character, competence and vision matter to his administration.
“Our party has produced a candidate who is accepted by all zones in our country. He enjoys the trust of every strata in our national socio-economic structure.
“We are confident that Nigerians will entrust him with the leadership of our country in 2023. We offer our gratitude to Nigerians for the continued trust they repose on the APC.
“In our political tradition, the choice of a running mate is the exclusive right of the presidential candidate.”
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