The All Progressives Congress (APC) Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, has dismissed notions that the party's flag-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has an islamisation agenda.
Has Tinubu Islamised his family, Shettima defends Muslim-Muslim ticket
Shettima said Nigerians are still fixated on religious sentiments while the rest of the world has moved on to the knowledge age.
Shettima said if the former Lagos State Governor has not made any attempt to enforce his religion on his wife, to whom he has been married for 40 years, it'll be impossible for him to attempt such on a national scale.
The former two-term governor of Borno state said Nigerians should be more concerned about how to develop the country, rather than engage in religious sentiments, NAN reports.
Shettima disclosed this during his address to members of APC Professionals' Forum who paid him a congratulatory visit at his Abuja residence on Friday, July 15, 2023.
The APC VP candidate expressed regrets over Nigerians' fixation on religion while the rest of the world had gone past religious sentiments, hence the need for the country to focus on moving to the industrial age.
“I feel highly honoured and am delighted to receive you in my humble abode, the world is changing, the world has moved from agricultural age to industrial age.
“And now we are in the knowledge driven age, in other clans, people are talking of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and quick data and of artificial intelligence.
“While we are busy here talking about headsmen, farmers/herders clash, rural banditry, kidnapping and battling with Boko Haram and talking about religious mix,’’ he said.
"The task before us is to transform this nation into a just and fair society where everyone will have a sense of belonging.
“We should learn to accommodate and embrace each other,’’ he said.
Shettima said that the Tinubu/Shettima ticket had more to do with the desire to provide quality leadership to Nigerians than any religious sentiment.
“I want to reassure Nigerians that; they are accusing him of an attempt to Islamising the country, has he started with Islamising his own family.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yes, his Vice-Presidential running mate might be a Muslim, but his life mate for over 40 year is not only a Christian, but a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
“He did not enforce his own Islamic faith on his own children, he was the first governor to hand-over mission schools to the owners, and he has groomed people from all walks of life.
“One of his Commissioners while he was governor of Lagos State, was from Katsina State and another one was from Delta, he also had a special adviser of an Igbo extraction,’’ he said.
Tinubu and the APC have been heavily criticised over Shettima's choice as the vice presidential candidate in the 2023 election.
Tinubu, a Muslim from southern Nigeria, picked Shettima, another Muslim from the North, as his running mate to the ire of some prominent Nigerians including members of the ruling APC party.
Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other faith-based groups have condemned the move, describing it as an attempt by the APC to coerce Nigerians into adopting Islam.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: