2023: Trouble For Tinubu, APC As North-East Youths Threaten To Dump Shettima
The presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been threatened as strong All Progressives Congress (APC) youth groups in the North-East declared they would withdraw support for former Governor of Borno State, Sen. Kashim Shettima.
Shettima is the 2023 vice presidential candidate of the APC, running a Muslim-Muslim ticket with Tinubu, Naija News reports.
APC will be hoping to pull a chunk of votes from Northeastern states, including Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe and Borno State, where Shettima hails from.
In a new shift, however, the leadership of the North-East Youth and Stakeholders Forum of the APC threatened on Thursday (today) that their support for the APC vice presidential candidate would be withdrawn.
The threat is coming just 42 days before the 2023 presidential election. Naija News understands that the development may upset the ruling party as the North-East APC groups are assumed to be one of the dominant voices drumming support for the candidacy of Shettima in the wake of APC flagbearer, Tinubu’s victory after the party’s presidential primary months ago.
The group was believed to have lobbied Tinubu’s camp, the presidency and the ruling party’s leadership to consider zoning the running mate position to the North East region.
However, the same political group is lamenting Shettima’s attitude ahead of the 2023 polls.
According to The PUNCH, during a press conference in Abuja, the political groups expressed their dissatisfaction with Shettima on Thursday.
They reportedly vowed to withdraw support for the former governor of Borno State for continually undermining their effort.
Speaking on behalf of the political groups, the Acting Chairman of the APC North-East Youth and Stakeholders Forum, Shaibu Tilde, told journalists at the country’s capital city on Thursday that Shettima’s snub shortly after his victory has led to the loss of some foundational members of the structure including the Zonal Women Leader, Amina Manga of Bauchi, who defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with over one million women.
Tilde lamented that another loyalist of Shettima and Treasurer of the group, Yusuf Banki, left for the PDP with over 500,000 youths.
“We are saddened to be in the news for what others will interpret as a negative reason at this time, but we are also obligated by our love for our great party, the All Progressive Congress, to make this timely intervention before our party’s fortunes in the region sink.
“We do not need to emphasise that this is an injury time for the game because the general elections are less than two months away, leaving no room for error, but instead attention must be focused on tightening all loose ends, which is not the case with our party in the northeast.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is with deep regret and concern that we report that the fortunes of our great party in the Northeast are on the verge of collapse due to the obstinate, careless, and exclusive leadership style of our Vice Presidential Candidate, Hon. Kashim Shettima,” The PUNCH quoted Tilde saying.
Shettima’s Actions Have Cost APC Losing Top Members To Opposition
The Northeast APC Youth Forum said it has watched with tears how many party supporters continue to defect to the PDP weeks before the 2023 election because of Shettima’s action.
The trend, according to them, is worsening by the day in the Northeast zone. They lament further how Sen. Shettima has seemingly turned a blind eye to the ‘heinous developments’ in the APC in the region.
“We the Youths in the Northeast, have lost our Zonal Treasurer from his home state of Borno, Hon. Yusuf Shariff Banki, due to his failure to support youth in the region to launch massive mobilisation. It is worth noting, gentlemen, that Sheriff led over five hundred thousand youth to the PDP,” Tilde said.
He added: “As if that wasn’t enough, our Zonal Organising Secretary, Hon. Murtala Gamji of Taraba led over two hundred youths to the NNPP, and our Zonal Women Leader, Amina Manga of Bauchi, led one million women to the PDP.
“Out of the 8 million youth votes we have already mobilized for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our Presidential Candidate for the Presidential Polls, Sen. Kashim Shettime has already plundered over 3 million through his actions with the wave of defections from our party. This is simply unacceptable!
“In light of this, we urge our party’s Vice Presidential Candidate, Hon. Kashim Shettima to immediately reverse his steps and corrected his error for the sake of the party, the region, and the teaming youth.
“It is on record that this group, then led by its Current Acting Chairman, Hon. Shaibu Baffa Tilde, threw their support behind Sen. Kashim Shettima and committed massive human and financial resources to ensure he emerged as the APC’s Vice Presidential Candidate.”
Tilde said the group is not seeking compensation from Shettima but that their resentment stems from his failure to recognize a formidable Youth force of the party that stood by him through thick and thin after realising his ambition to become a reality as Vice Presidential Candidate from the northeast region.
“As a result, the Northeast APC Youth Forum wishes to withdraw its unequivocal support for Sen. Shettima,” he stressed.
The statement added: “Our actions should not be misinterpreted, but rather judged by our affection for our dear party.
“While we intend to take our next steps regarding his candidacy in the coming days, we would like to express our unwavering support for our Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the APC. We will continue to work for the advancement and victory of our beloved party in the upcoming general elections.”