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Buhari receives Shetima, predicts victory for APC

* Shettima, Zulum meet President without Tinubu

By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has met the Running Mate and Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Kashim Shettima without the presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Buhari struck a chord of humour on Wednesday at the State House while responding to a flowery speech by Shettima, “I will respond to your speech when I am handing over to you and your boss. God willing, you are going to win.”

Buhari, who received the VP Candidate shortly after he was unveiled by the leadership of the Party andd Tinubu, said he was very happy with the choice of the former Governor of Borno State as running mate.

“I wish you the best. Your consistency in the party is very respectful. You served your two terms as Governor and finished well. You have kept touch with your base. At every important occasion or event, you are maintaining support for the one who succeeded you. This is commendable,“ he said.

The President expressed strong optimism that the APC ticket will emerge victorious in 2023.

In his remarks, the Vice Presidential Candidate thanked the President for his “empathy, support and positive role,” leading to his emergence as Running Mate to the APC Presidential Candidate.

He praised the President for having “a special place in your heart for Borno and Northeast,” adding, “I can cite 20-30 instances of support you have rendered, for which you will be remembered.”

He mentioned the establishment of the North East Development Commission, NEDC, and the Independent Power Plant for Maiduguri by the NNPC, “after many years of darkness,” saying that “words cannot describe our appreciation of your support. We will remain eternally grateful.”

The former Governor of Borno State requested the President to appreciate his successor, Babagana Zulum who was in his company, along with the Minister of State, Agriculture, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, for spurning “recurring mention” of him and pressure from his Governor colleagues to bid for the Vice Presidential ticket.

The Candidate pledged to remain “loyal and devoted” to the President, promising that his Vice-Presidency will not be for the “troika of Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri,” but for all Nigeria, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or geographical place of origin.

Buhari has met with the Vice-Presidential candidate of the APC Kashim Shettima, and the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja without the Presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The duo arrived at the forecourt of the President’s office at 3:40 pm.

APC’s presidential candidate, Tinubu, and the party had settled for the choice of Shettima as presidential running mate in the 2023 election.

It was the first time the ruling party’s presidential running mate would be visiting the Aso Rock since being selected by the presidential candidate of the party, Tinubu.

Tinubu, who had earlier in the day publicly unveiled Shettima, was conspicuous by his absence during the visit even though it was not immediately known what the mission to the Villa was about.

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