The Coalition of Arewa Youths for Peace and National Development (COAYPANU), a northern group announced and issued a statement on the removal of Alhaji Kashim Shettima,vice presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC,as its patron. Shettima was recently selected by Tinubu as his deputy and the Muslim-Muslim ticket has been controversial.
Alhaji Mohammed Gwadabe, the National President of the group COAYPANU, issued a press statement deeming the statement of Shettima on Obi as reckless, divisive, and provocative. The group leader urged Nigerians to reject a leader that is promoting bigotry in the country.
Shettima while giving interview on Arise Television made a bigoted statement against Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of Labour Party.
Shettima said, “Presidential position is not for the unprepared neither is it an all comers’ affair. Peter Obi can only become a President in Igboland but definitely not in Nigeria. Nigeria is too big for him to handle.”
And on comparing and contrasting Obi with Tinubu, Shettima further said, “He (Obi) has no leadership ideology nor experiences like President Muhammadu and our incoming President in the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
On these statement made by Shettima, the northern group decided to remove him as patron and the group’s leader, Gwadabe maintained that the governor’s statement was not in tune with its belief in the unity of the country, therefore its decision to “remove him as patron with immediate effect.”
Below is the statement issued by the northern group to the press and public:
“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. We call on all well-meaning Nigerians, especially our youths and Northern elites, to, in the interest of our diversity and unity, condemn – in the strongest term – this unpatriotic statement capable of igniting ethnic tension in the already-charged polity.
“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.
“We hold that such crass propagation of bigotry must not be allowed in a decent society such as ours that is multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and secular in nature. In demonstration of our zero-tolerance for rascality, and chauvinism under whatever guise, we have caused the removal of Senator Kashim Shettima, as our patron.
“We are mindful of the fact that, as youths from the Northern region, we are, no doubt, at the receiving end of the insecurity plaguing the nation, with attendant deaths, destruction, and hunger. As a matter of fact, there is hardly any part of the North that is peaceful today, as insurgency, banditry and kidnapping have become second nature.
“May we, therefore, use this opportunity to task our leaders to eschew bitterness in their pursuit of political power, knowing that as a fragile nation, all efforts must be geared towards the stability and peace of Nigeria.”
The controversial vice presidential candidate of APC, Shettima has not reacted to his removal as a patron of the northern group.