An All Progressives Congress (APC), chieftain, Ariyi Emami has disclosed the reason members of the party from the South-South and South-East regions boycotted the unveiling of Kashim Shettima as the vice presidential candidate of the party
Ayiri dismissed rumours alleging that the chieftains refused to attend the event due to their dissatisfaction with the choice of Shettima.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Saturdays the chieftain explained that most people who stayed away from the unveiling did so because they thought having been presented to President Muhammadu Buhari, the ceremony of the formal unveiling of Shettima was no longer necessary.
He said: “Even me I was not there, because to us, Shettima has been unveiled before now by Asiwaju himself. So, I was sleeping at home that day, when they called me. What did I need to go and do there? So, I don’t see any political undertone in that. We have been told that it is Shettima and we have been talking. Everybody congratulated him. The unveiling was just a ceremonial thing. I assumed other leaders, not in attendance were very tired and couldn’t attend. So, it is not an issue for me.
“Some of us even supported the candidacy of Shettima. We advised Asiwaju to go and look for a good person that will give him support, whether Muslim or anything. Religion has not brought anything to our table.
“For example, Niger Delta Development Commission is an agency that is supposed to be taking care of the Niger Delta and so much money has come into the NDDC but the people monitoring those affairs are all Christians, no Muslim. Go and see whether you will see any development. Governors running the region are all Christians. So, if Asiwaju has a partner that will make him succeed, will give us protection, good roads, and good schools, I don’t care because not everybody is even Christian.
“To some of us, a lot of majority of people that are going to vote don’t understand what they are saying about Muslim-Muslim ticket. What we are saying at the moment is Asiwaju for transformation. We are not seeing the religious aspect of it because to some of us, the Vice President is a Christian under Buhari, what is the difference. Some Christians because of politics will go to the North to go and turban. If you know you forbid something so much, don’t even go to their palace to the turban. Why are you going there, don’t you know it is a different faith?”