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Running Mate: Zulum, Shettima Split APC

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Running Mate: Zulum, Shettima Split APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are not to be envied as the party navigates another potentially divisive issue, the choice vice presidential candidate.

The party has so far been able to resolve the issue of which political zone in the North is to produce Tinubu’s running mate and has settled for the North-East.

It also steered through the delicate and emotion-ladden faith-related issues, and settled for a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the party despite severe opposition from Christian bodies like the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Its decision was informed by its conviction that a Northern Christian VP cannot muster adequate votes to upstage PDP’s Atiku Abubakar in the geopolitical zone.

It has, however, emerged that the party and its candidate are facing a serious challenge narrowing the choice of running mate to a specific candidate in the North-East – a situation that we gathered, has polarised the stakeholders.

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While Tinubu and his closest political associates (or political family) are said to have settled for former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, the APC governors think otherwise, insisting that the VP must come from their ranks.

The party may have forwarded the name of Alhaji Kabir Ibrahim Masari on Friday to stave off pressure arising from the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but it must deal with the division the vice president nominee is causing within the ranks of stakeholders.

According to an insider, who is aware of the issues, the APC governors are believed to be firmly resolved that one of their own, in the person of Babagana Umara Zulum, must be the vice presidential candidate, irrespective of the choice of Asiwaju’s political family.

According to the source, the governors believe that Zulum would add more value to the administration, being a younger person and loved by young people.

They also cited Zulum’s currency and the spectacular work he is doing in insurgency- ravaged Borno State as a selling point for the APC administration ahead of the poll, wondering how the party would field two former governors and expect it to fly.

Not relenting in his choice of Senator Shettima, Tinubu is said to have resolved to deepen consultations with APC governors before the date for substitution of candidates elapses.

A source close to the campaign disclosed that the consultation train began its work on Friday night with a high level meeting with Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, at the Imo State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja.

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