North-East youths accuse Shettima of sabotaging Tinubu, APC kicks
The youths claimed Shettima's actions have led to the loss of over three million out of the votes they already mobilized for Tinubu.
The group accused the former Borno State Governor of continually undermining its efforts to make sure the APC Presidential flag-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, emerges victorious in the forthcoming election.
The group's warning, which comes barely 42 days before the February 25 election, also appears to have caused a stir in the camp of the ruling party, The Punch reports.
The North-East APC group is one of the most vociferous voices that lobbied the presidency, Tinubu's camp, and leadership of the party to ensure that the running mate slot was zoned to the North-East region.
It was also credited to be one of the groups that went all out to ensure the Shettima was considered and chosen as Tinubu's running mate.
However, things seem to have fallen apart between the two parties as the political group has threatened to withdraw support for Shettima ahead of the election.
This was made known by the Acting Chairman of the APC North-East Youth and Stakeholders Forum, Shaibu Tilde, at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, January 12, 2023.
Tilde alleged that Shettima's unfair treatment of the group shortly after his victory has forced some foundational members of the structure to seek refuge in opposition parties.
These include the Zonal Women Leader, Amina Manga of Bauchi, who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with over one million women, and another loyalist of Shettima and Treasurer of the group, Yusuf Banki, who left for the PDP with over 500,000 youths.
Tilde's words: “We are saddened to be in the news for what others will interpret as a negative reason at this time, but we are also obligated by our love for our great party, the All Progressive Congress, to make this timely intervention before our party’s fortunes in the region sink.
“We do not need to emphasise that this is an injury time for the game because the general elections are less than two months away, leaving no room for error, but instead attention must be focused on tightening all loose ends, which is not the case with our party in the northeast.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is with deep regret and concern that we report that the fortunes of our great party in the Northeast are on the verge of collapse due to the obstinate, careless, and exclusive leadership style of our Vice Presidential Candidate, Hon. Kashim Shettima.
“The Northeast APC Youth Forum has watched with tears as its many supporters continue to defect to the PDP. Unfortunately, the trend in the Northeast zone is worsening by the day, with Sen. Kashim seemingly turning a blind eye to these heinous developments in our party in the region.
“We the Youths in the Northeast have lost our Zonal Treasurer from his home state of Borno, Hon. Yusuf Shariff Banki, due to his failure to support youth in the region to launch massive mobilisation. It is worth noting, gentlemen, that Sheriff led over five hundred thousand youth to the PDP.
"As if that wasn’t enough, our Zonal Organising Secretary, Hon. Murtala Gamji of Taraba led over two hundred youths to the NNPP, and our Zonal Women Leader, Amina Manga of Bauchi led one million women to the PDP.
“Out of the 8 million youth votes we have already mobilized for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our Presidential Candidate for the Presidential Polls, Sen. Kashim Shettime has already plundered over 3 million through his actions with the wave of defections from our party. This is simply unacceptable!
“In light of this, we urge our party’s Vice Presidential Candidate, Hon. Kashim Shettima, to immediately reverse his steps and correct his error for the sake of the party, the region, and the teaming youth.
“It is on record that this group, then led by its Current Acting Chairman, Hon. Shaibu Baffa Tilde, threw their support behind Sen. Kashim Shettima and committed massive resources, both human and financial, to ensure he emerged as the APC’s Vice Presidential Candidate.
"We do not seek compensation from Sen. Shettima, but our resentment stems from Sen. Kashim’s failure to recognize a formidable Youth force of the party that stood by him through thick and thin after realising his ambition to become reality as Vice Presidential Candidate from the northeast region.
“As a result, the Northeast APC Youth Forum wishes to withdraw its unequivocal support for Sen. Shettima.
"Our actions should not be misinterpreted, but rather judged by our affection for our dear party.
“While we intend to take our next steps regarding his candidacy in the coming days, we would like to express our unwavering support for our Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the APC. We will continue to work for the advancement and victory of our beloved party in the upcoming general elections.”
APC reacts to threat: In his reaction, the spokesman for Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, said such a misunderstanding is a normal occurrence in the build-up to a major election.
Keyamo's words: “It is an election season. Everybody is important. No doubt about that. We can assure them that whatever grievances they have will be addressed.
“However, there is a need to point out corrections on some things they said. There are so many support groups working for the party in the North East and we will try to give all equal attention. While I agree that we need everybody, we don’t see recognise some people as greater than others. Everybody is important.
“If some groups think they are the most important or deserve to be pampered more than others, we will not accept it. That would be subtle blackmail. The vice presidential candidate is the one who wants to treat all of them as equal as possible. He is obviously not going to pamper some over others. All groups are important.
“Again, the numbers quoted in their statement are over-exaggerated in order to draw attention. They don’t control those figures and no such numbers have left the party.
“Firstly, going by the APC register, how many registered members do we have in the North East as a party? So that means they are taking everybody at the party away, isn’t it?
“Nevertheless, we need the group and we are going to talk to them. But they should not overrate themselves.”
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