Monday , August 15 2022
I was misquoted, Tinubu's campaign DG, Shettima apologises to Osinbajo

I was misquoted, Tinubu’s campaign DG, Shettima apologises to Osinbajo

While appearing on a Channels Television program, Politics Today, on Friday, June 3, 2022, the former Borno Governor had compared Osinbajo to ice an cream seller.

He also tendered a similar apology to President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, for the comments he made about him on the same TV program.

When asked if his principal would step down for a consensus candidate chosen by President Muhammadu Buhari, Shettima dismissed such possibility, adding that Tinubu is an ‘elephant’ who can’t be beaten by a ‘lilliputian’ in the primary contest.

While speaking about the chances of other frontrunners in the race, Shettima stated that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, stand no chance against the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

He went further to describe the vice president as a nice man, adding that nice men do not make good leaders.

Shettima said, “Osinbajo is a good man. He is a nice man. But nice men don’t make a good leader. Nice men should be selling popcorn and ice cream.”

On Lawan, the DG called into question his administrative capacity and national reach.

He said, “He has spent 20 years in the senate. He has a PhD in Geography. He had a brief stint in academia before joining politics. Does he have the administrative skill set to rule a complex nation like ours? This is the million-dollar question.

“He cannot stand shoulder to shoulder with Atiku Abubakar. Lawan became a senator with 144,000 votes, I became a senator with votes that is two and half times what he garnered in Yobe.”

Shettima added “Go to Ohiafia and ask of Ahmad Lawan, the first thing that will come to their mind is that of a tomato dealer from Maiduguri. Go to any other part of the south, does the name sell?

Taking to his Twitter page on Sunday, June 5, 2022, the Borno Senator posted series of tweets to clarify the intended meaning of his remarks during the interview, and also apologised to both Osinbajo and Lawan for the unintended damage he may have caused.

The tweet read, “When I appeared on Channels TV last Thursday amidst the tension rippling through our political arena, it was to underline the promise @officialABAT’s presidential bid held for those yet to establish the certainty of the hurdle ahead of the @OfficialAPCNg.

“I never set out to denigrate the personality of any aspirant, and definitely not that of my dear friends and allies. None of them is an opponent, so their aspiration isn’t a threat to us. They appear so in the sprint to become the party’s presidential flag-bearer in the 2023 elections, but they are our allies in the marathon.

“My assessments of the Vice President, @ProfOsinbajo, and the @SPNigeria, Senator Ahmad Lawan, were well-intentioned. I never set out to subject them to ridicule but, rather, to stir up interest in the contrasting virtues of the cast of aspirants putting up a fight against my preferred aspirant, one most favoured and advantaged to guarantee APC’s victory in the forthcoming presidential election.

“The interpretations of my remarks on @ProfOsinbajo and @SPNigeria, Senator Lawan are, thus, being done literally and overblown.

“My words weren’t woven to portray them as unworthy aspirants, but merely to qualify them as non-threatening contenders. I, however, take full responsibility for my utterances and wish to appeal to our teeming supporters to neither take my words out of their metaphoric contexts, nor interpret them as a measure and declaration of hostility towards my dear friends and allies.

“I hereby tender my unreserved apologies to the Vice President and the President of the Senate for the unintended pains my jibes might have caused them and their families and supporters.

“As we approach the finishing line of this tense political race, I’m not unaware of who the actual opponents are. A divided house, even if in the assumptions and imaginations of supporters with a distant grasp of our relationships with other aspirants, is the last impression we wish to create among Nigerians.

“I want this to be taken as an appeal to our supporters across all political camps to build bridges and mend fences as the actual journey is just about to begin. Victory, for the discerning, has always been the first lap of the race. Thank you for your understanding.”

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