Following the announcement of Kashim Shettima as the running mate to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, report has emerged that the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, was the first choice of Tinubu.
Tinubu on Sunday picked Shettima as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
Top sources told The PUNCH that Tinubu had offered Zulum the ticket on a silver platter but he refused to take it.
An associate of Tinubu who wished to remain anonymous, said, “Based on wide consultations as well as a survey, Zulum was the most popular option. He was repeatedly offered the ticket but he turned it down for two main reasons. The first was that he was eager to complete his tenure as governor of Borno State and implement his reconstruction programme.
“Secondly, his loyalty to Shettima was also a factor. Zulum was Shettima’s commissioner when he handpicked him as his successor in 2019. They have maintained a cordial relationship which is rare between governors and their predecessors. Zulum finally stated that he would only accept the VP slot if Shettima asked him to take it.
“But it was difficult for Tinubu’s men to ask Shettima to plead with Zulum to take the job when it was obvious that Shettima also wanted the job. With INEC’s deadline fast approaching, Shettima became the sure option. In any case, Shettima’s loyalty to Tinubu has never been in doubt. So, it became easy to settle for him.”