All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s selection of former Governor of Borno state, Senator Kashim Shettima on a Muslim-Muslim ticket has set the former Lagos state governor on collision course with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was said to have warned that such an adoption would not augur well both for the party and the country.
A presidency source disclosed that Osinbajo had expressed serious objection to the adoption of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“Professor Osinbajo is opposed to this thing announced on Sunday, and his objections are well known both to the party and even the flagbearer himself,” the source said, adding that the VP opposed a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2014 even before what later turned out as his own eventual nomination as VP.
Then he was reported to have explained to Tinubu that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would simply isolate Christians. Later the then APC flagbearer, President Buhari, also shared that position and rejected overtures to name Tinubu as his running mate after emerging as the presidential candidate.
The informed source said that recently, Osinbajo counselled APC chieftains and Tinubu to avoid an unbalanced ticket, arguing that such would simply be untenable and an unnecessary risk.
Said the source: “The VP explained the logic, fairness and justice of a balanced ticket is unassailable. The argument that merit should be considered above a Muslim- Christian balance presents a false choice. It is not one or the other. You can get all the merit you want in a balanced ticket.
“The VP said anything short of a balanced ticket creates a needless tension and further aggravates some of the country’s fault-lines. But a balanced ticket certainly sends a positive signal.”
As political tensions brewed, fresh talks of political realignments were already buzzing since after the announcement on Sunday as some other registered parties are said to be making plans to build a new coalition with Vice President Osinbajo in what is seen as an opportunity to offer a credible and faith-balanced option in next year’s presidential election. A source said a meeting to explore such a possibility is now in the works.
“APC may have shot itself on the foot with this kind of ticket, and the tensions going on in the party and the country since the announcement was made is a bad thing,” the source said.