Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) mounted pressure on the Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum, asking him to seek to be the vice presidential candidate of the party.
This was disclosed Wednesday by the APC vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Telescope.ng reports that Shettima told the president to appreciate Mr Zulum for spurning “recurring mention” of him and pressure from his governor colleagues to bid for the vice presidential ticket.
Details of the closed-door meeting between Buhari and Shettima were disclosed by the president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
It was earlier reported that Mr Shettima visited the president after the former Borno governor was officially unveiled Wednesday in Abuja as the running mate to the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Shettima was accompanied on the visit by Mr Zulum and the Minister of State, Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri.
The former governor was recently announced by Mr Tinubu as the APC vice presidential candidate. He was one of those who were considered for the position alongside others like Mr Zulum and Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
At the meeting on Wednesday, Mr Buhari expressed optimism that the APC would win the 2023 presidential election and he would hand over to Messrs Tinubu and Shettima in 2023.
Read Shehu’s full statement on what was discussed between the two men below:
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
PRESIDENT BUHARI TO KASHIM SHETTIMA: I WILL RESPOND TO YOU WHEN I AM HANDING OVER TO YOU AND YOUR BOSS
President Muhammadu Buhari struck a chord of humour on Wednesday at the State House while responding to a flowery speech by Senator Kashim Shettima, the Running Mate and Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, saying, “I will respond to your speech when I am handing over to you and your boss. God willing, you are going to win.”
President Buhari, who received the VP candidate shortly after he was unveiled by the leadership of the party and Bola Tinubu, said he is very happy with the choice of the former governor of Borno State as running mate.
“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,“ he said.
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 North-east,” 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 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.
Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity) July 20, 2022