Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) presidential candidate, claimed on Sunday afternoon that he had not informed Senator Kashim Shettima, the former governor of Borno State, that Shettima was the real running mate.
Less than an hour had passed since Ibrahim Masari, the APC’s de facto vice presidential nominee, announced his resignation.
The national leader of the APC has declared Shettima as the vice presidential candidate while addressing newsmen shortly after his closed door meeting the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in Daura, Katsina State.
“I saw Aminu Bello Masari today and there is going to be an announcement to replace him fully with the substantive candidate.”
When prodded to disclose who the substantive candidate was, Tinubu declared that it was Shettima, even though he has not discussed it with him.
“Kashim Shettima, I have not discussed with him but I have disclosed it to you,” he said.
Tinubu was accompanied to Daura by road by the Katsina Governor, Aminu Bello Masari after landing at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua airport, Katsina.
Meanwhile, Masari, the surrogate running mate on Sunday issued an official statement that he is stepping aside to pave the way for Tinubu’s substantive running mate.
Masari made the announcement after having a meeting with the presidential standard bearer.
“This is to inform our esteemed party leaders under our able President Muhammadu Buhari, teeming party members and the great people of Nigeria, of the outcome of a crucial discussion I just had with the flag-bearer of our great party, All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Recall that I had the singular honour and privilege of being nominated as the running-mate to Asiwaju Tinubu last month after a keenly contested presidential primary ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“But, after much reflection and wider consultations, I now wish to step down. I realized that my decision will enable Asiwaju to have more latitude to give more accommodation and inclusion that will position our party to win the coming elections, with the support of the people of Nigeria.
“In stepping down, I believe I can still serve our party and the country in several other capacities. I wish to confirm that I have submitted my withdrawal letter and affidavit to that effect as the Vice Presidential Candidate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the coming elections.”