Elections

Tinubu picks Shettima as running mate.

Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has announced Kashim Shettima, former governor of Borno State, as his running mate.

Tinubu disclosed this on Sunday after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State, where the President is observing his Sallah break.

While speaking with journalists after the meeting, he announced that the placeholder candidate, Ibrahim Masari, had formerly written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce his withdrawal, as required by the commission.

“We already had an announcement to replace him fully with the substantive candidate,” he said.

Section 29(1) of the 2022 Electoral Act, as amended, provides that political parties shall submit the names of their candidates, not later than 180 days before the date appointed for the general election. Section 31 of the Act also gives the political parties an opportunity to withdraw and substitute their candidates, not later than 90 days before the election.

INEC had, as part of its administrative arrangements, set June 17, 2022, as the deadline for the submission of names of candidates for the Presidential and National Assembly election and July 15, 2022, for the governorship and state House of Assembly candidates.

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In fulfilment of Section 31 of the Act, the commission gave July 15, 2022, as the last day for withdrawal by candidates and replacement of withdrawn candidates by the political parties.

It gave the parties up to August 12 for the withdrawal and replacement of withdrawn candidates by the political parties.

Masari, in his letter, a copy of which was sighted by BusinessDay in Abuja, informed the party leaders of his withdrawal.

He said: “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.

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“But, after much reflection and wider consultations, I now wish to step down. I realised 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.”

Shettima is a 55-year-old agricultural economist, who obtained a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of Ibadan.

He started his public service career in 1991 as a lecturer with the Department of Agricultural Economics, at the University of Maiduguri, where he had earlier obtained a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics in 1989.

Shettima moved into the banking sector in 1993, when he was employed by the now-defunct Commercial Bank of Africa Limited as head of accounts unit at the bank’s office and rose to the position of Manager in 2001.

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He later moved to the Zenith Bank as head of its main branch in Maiduguri, rising to the position of General Manager, a position he held until he was appointed Commissioner of Finance in Borno State, in 2007. Between 2007 and 2011, he served as commissioner in five ministries.

In January 2011, he contested the gubernatorial primary under the All Nigeria Peoples Party but lost to Modu Gubio.

Following the death of Gubio, who was shot dead by gunmen, Shettima got selected in a second primary in February 2011, and eventually won the governorship election, defeating his closest rival and People’s Democratic Party candidate, Mohammed Goni.

He was re-elected in 2015 under the platform of the APC.

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