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‘He’s a detribalised Christian’ — Support group asks Tinubu to pick Lalong as running mate

‘He’s a detribalised Christian’ — Support group asks Tinubu to pick Lalong as running mate
June 29
18:05 2022

A support group — Northern Nigerian Movement for Asiwaju 2023 — has asked Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to consider Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau, as his running mate.

Recently, Tinubu named Kabiru Masari as the “placeholder” for the position of the vice-presidential candidate until a final name is submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

On Sunday, the former Lagos governor announced that he is still searching for a running mate for the 2023 presidential elections.

Speaking on the development, on Wednesday, Mohammed Attahiru, national coordinator of the support group, said Lalong should be considered as Tinubu’s running mate, saying the governor is a “decentralised Christian”.

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The national coordinator said the idea of a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket is not right considering the religious sensitivity of the country.

He added that the choice of Lalong means that Tinubu’s presidential ticket has the religious and ethnic balance for a pluralist country like Nigeria

“There is every need for leaders and critical stakeholders of the ruling party to be more meticulous, strategic and circumspect in arriving at the choice of running mate for Tinubu,” Attahiru said.

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“Tinubu himself appears to know the implications of the choice of running mate as he goes into the crucial presidential election of 2023, hence, the reason he is taking his time to get it right.

“Lalong is a quintessential and grassroots politician who will be a worthy and right running mate for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for many reasons.

“The choice of Lalong, who is an influential Northern politician and a devoted but detribalised Christian from the ruling party, will be the best bet for Tinubu to escape the booby trap of Muslim-Muslim ticket hullabaloo.

“Given the religious sensitivity and sensibility of our country, Muslim-Muslim ticket might not be the right kite to fly at this crucial time of our country’s political journey, hence, the need to look the way of Lalong.

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“Besides the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket, Lalong was an arrowhead and very instrumental in the emergence of Tinubu as the presidential flag bearer of the APC.

“Lalong, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, was able to galvanise and rally all his colleagues from the north to insist on a power shift to the south.

“He was instrumental in seeing to it that the Aso Rock cabals who were bent on foisting the Senate President Ahmad Lawan on the party as flag bearer did not succeed, thus, paving the way for the seamless emergence of Tinubu at the convention in Abuja.

“The last minute intervention of the Lalong-led NGF changed the equation in favour of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It will be a good thing to reciprocate this kind gesture of Governor Lalong by making him the running mate to Tinubu. After all, one good turn, they say, deserves another.”

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