Kashim Shettima, a serving senator and former Borno governor, has said Bola Tinubu will not be standing down for Yemi Osinbajo or any other presidential aspirant at the forthcoming national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress, saying they are all too inconsequential to go head-to-head against the former Lagos governor.
“How do you expect an elephant to step down for lilliputians?” Mr Shettima said on Channels Television Friday night when asked specifically whether or not Mr Tinubu was prepared to surrender his ambition and back the vice president or any of about 23 other aspirants seeking the party’s top ticket.
Mr Shettima said claims Mr Tinubu was planning to step down were also false. He also said President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent moves to foist a consensus candidate on the party will augur misfortune for its 2023 chances.
Purported claims Mr Tinubu would step down “are just mere speculations,” Mr Shettima said, “and, most importantly, even the issue of anointing a consensus.”
Mr Osinbajo’s supporters have been spreading claims that their man has emerged Mr Buhari’s favourite to clinch the ticket, even though no official confirmation to that effect could be obtained as of Friday afternoon. Media aides to the president and vice president did not return requests seeking a reaction to Mr Shettima’s comments.
The senator, who has been on the campaign trail with Mr Tinubu across the country, said nothing outside a free and fair primary would be acceptable to the campaign.
Mr Tinubu himself has said the APC ticket must come to Yoruba, and even then it can only come to him because he had paid his dues by elevating politicians of all regions and creeds over the years.