A former Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima, has said the North cannot afford to let the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, down because of his role in getting President Muhammadu Buhari into office.
Tinubu has since indicated interest in running for president in 2023.
Shettima in an interview with Daily Trust, said without the south-west, Buhari would not have been president in 2015.
“Buhari is immensely popular in the North. He has a cult-like followership of nearly 15 million people. But that never took him to the presidency until we had a handshake across the Niger with the west,” he said.
“Wrongly, he was assumed to be a northern’ hegemonist’, a provincial politician, even a religious bigot by some of our compatriots in the southern part of the country. It was the south-west political machine that repackaged and resold the Buhari brand to Nigerians in 2015.”
“Without the block support of the South-West, it would have been difficult for President Buhari to emerge as the candidate of the APC. Tinubu worked for Buhari in 2015 and in 2019.
“This is why some of us find it utterly disgusting when some of the folks who vigorously worked against Buhari’s ambition in 2014 have done some political somersaults and are now members of what I called Buharist Church of Latter Day Saints, hectoring down on us and liberally dropping the president’s name.”
When asked if there was an agreement between Tinubu and Buhari before the former Lagos governor supported his presidential bid, Shettima said “no one can rely on a futuristic political pact”.
“In my view, Asiwaju is sophisticated enough to understand that no one can rely on a futuristic political pact, four or eight years ahead,” the senator said.
“Even a week can be a long time in politics. No one can predict what could happen between now and 2023, let alone predict it as in 2015. In politics you can only guarantee something that is within your immediate reach.”