Borno CAN chairman applauds Tinubu’s running mate choice

borno can chairman applauds tinubu's running mate choice
borno can chairman applauds tinubu’s running mate choice

Bishop Mohammed Naga, chairman of the Borno State chapter of the Christians Association (CAN), has praised the selection of former Borno State governor, Senator Kashim Shettima, as the vice presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the upcoming 2023 election.

The decision of APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu, a Muslim, to select Shettima, also a Muslim, has elicited mixed emotions.

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This would be the first time a major party would follow in the footsteps of the Social Democratic Party’s Muslim/Muslim ticket of MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe in the infamously annulled presidential election of 1993.

Bishop Naga stated in a statement released today, July 11, according to Arise news, that the Christian community in Borno State has never had it better than under Shettima, who led the state from 2011 to 2019.

According to Naga, Shettima is a kind leader.

“My brothers, people who are not from Borno State may not be aware, but you and I are more knowledgeable. No Governor in the history of Borno State has been as fair to the Christian Community in this state as Governor Kashim Shettima. I say this in the presence of the Almighty God, and it is the absolute truth. In the history of Borno, only Governor Shettima has sponsored the most number of Christian Pilgrims annually since 2011.

I am speaking without fear or favour since, as chairman of the CAN, I do not receive a salary or a single kobo from the government or any other organisation, but the truth must be stated. This Governor has showed Christian Community sympathy.”

When the residents of Gwoza were expelled from their ancestral homes, they fled to Maiduguri, and the Governor visited the CAN Centre in Jerusalem ward twice in June and July 2014. He initially provided N10 million for their maintenance, but there were few victims. By the end of October 2014, there were 42,000 displaced persons from Gwoza in one camp alone. Governor Shettima returned and gives an additional N10 million. In addition, he provided an additional N5 million for the repatriation of Christians from Borno who had fled to Cameroon.

He provided an additional N5 million for non-natives who fled to Cameroon to return to Nigeria.

In addition, the Governor ordered the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, to provide food directly to the IDPs under Christian guidance. In fact, the Governor claimed that he wanted Christian IDPs to remain among their Muslim counterparts in designated IDP camps in Maiduguri, but we leaders deemed it prudent to separate Christian IDPs in order to prevent friction between traumatised displaced persons.”

As a Christian and a minister, I have absolutely nothing to worry about about Asiwaju’s choice of a Muslim as his running partner, as he is not a religious bigot, and I’m glad he has made his preference known to the public in the form of his selected running mate.

The fact that another presidential candidate applauds him is positive for him and his supporters. Best wishes to the incoming president and vice president.”

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