From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Vice Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 poll, Kashim Shettima, has been removed as the patron of the Coalition of Arewa Youths for Peace and National Development (COAYPANU), over remarks he made against the standard bearer of Labour Party, Peter Obi.
Shettima, during an interview on Arise TV, had said Obi could best be a president in Igboland, with the claim that he has no political structure to win next year’s poll.
“Obi can only become a president in Igboland, but definitely not in Nigeria. Nigeria is too big for him to handle.
“He has no leadership ideology nor experiences like President Muhammadu Buhari and our incoming president, in the person of Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” he said.
But COAYPANU’s National President, Mohammed Gwadabe, in a statement, yesterday, said Shettima’s attack on Obi was uncalled for, which necessitated his removal.
“Considering the weight of the provocative and divisive statement made by our patron, Shettima, which is against the spirit of unity we stand for, and following consultations from members across the 19 states of northern Nigeria, and approval from national executive committee in our emergency congress, we, by this statement, announce the immediate removal of the APC vice presidential candidate as our patron.
“We can’t associate ourselves with someone of Shettima’s standing, who, despite piloting the affairs of his native Borno State as governor for two consecutive terms, still does not know that Nigeria is for everybody, irrespective of tribe, religion and cultural backgrounds.
“The statement he made against Obi and Igbo presidency is his personal view and not that of our organisation, which he was a patron at the time of the provocative statement,” he said.
Gwadabe said the statement was a reflection of the former Borno governor’s state of mind, adding that such a disposition showed that he could not be trusted with the highest office in Nigeria, or anywhere in the world.
“The era where Arewa youths just accept whatever choices, or decisions made by the APC is gone for good, and that point must not be taken for granted.
“Henceforth, northern youths, who are distinguished in every right, shall vote character and competence, while relegating tribe and religion to the background, as far as elections that will decide their future are concerned.”