The Coalition of Arewa Youths for Peace and National Development has asked Nigerians to pay no attention to statements by the All Progressives Congress’ vice presidential candidate – Kassim Shettima – questioning the competence of Labour Party’s presidential candidate – Peter Obi.
The group said Shettima’s statement casting doubt on Obi’s competence was unpatriotic and capable of festering disunity amongst citizens of the nation.
Mohammed Gwadabe, national president of the organization, in a statement, called Shettima’s comments “divisive and reckless,” saying the former Borno governor could not be trusted with leading Nigeria.
“We call on all well-meaning Nigerians, especially our youths and Northern elites, to, in the interest of our diversity and unity, condemn – in the strongest term – this unpatriotic statement capable of igniting ethnic tension in the already-charged polity,” the statement reads.
“We hold that such crass propagation of bigotry must not be allowed in a decent society such as ours that is multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and secular in nature.
“In demonstration of our zero-tolerance for rascality, and chauvinism under whatever guise, we have caused the removal of Senator Kashim Shettima, as our patron.”
Earlier, Shettima, the senator representing Borno Central in Nigeria’s upper parliament, had, in an interview with Arise TV, questioned the competence and capacity of former Anambra Gov. Peter Obi to lead the country at the highest echelon.
“Nigeria requires a technocrat and a sound administrator who will continue from where President Muhammadu Buhari stopped, not someone who will come to take us back to the era of PDP,” Shettima said. “Nigerians don’t want that.”
He added: “Presidential position is not for the unprepared neither is it an all comers’ affair. Peter Obi can only become a President in Igboland but definitely not in Nigeria. Nigeria is too big for him to handle”.
Following the senator’s comment, the Northern youth said they would no longer follow the ruling APC sheepishly but would rather vote for competence and integrity irrespective of tribe or religion.
“The era where Arewa youths just accept whatever choices, or decisions made by the APC, is gone for good, and that point must not be taken for granted. Henceforth, Northern youths, who are distinguished in every right, shall vote character and competence, while relegating tribe and religion to the background, as far as elections that will decide their future are concerned.”