Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress' (APC) presidential candidate, has clarified to the Christian community that his choice of running mate was based on his commitment for service rather than on religion or other considerations.
He addressed the Pentecostal Bishops Forum of Northern Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday.
The clerics were informed by Tinubu of his objectives and initiatives to raise Nigeria's standard of living and build bridges across racial and religious divides.
Shedding light on his plans, Tinubu said: “How will Nigeria develop? How do we banish hunger? How do we improve the insecurity and how do we eliminate killing one and other, shedding of blood of innocent citizens, that is what we must take to the office and not our religion.
“My intention is clear. Not in religiosity. My intention is to develop this country, to bring prosperity to our country and I have better qualifications, better track records, better exposure, better vision than any of my mates.”
The APC presidential candidate said he has always been a friend of the Christian community and should be considered based on his track records, plans and agenda for developing Nigeria.
He reaffirmed that his choice of Senator Kashim Shettima as running mate was based on competence, capacity and fairness.
According to him: “When the shortlisted names came, I looked at the characters on the list, their background and everything and here is somebody (Kassim Shetimma) who is so brilliant, so committed, who, during the crisis in Bornu protected Christians.”
He urged all Nigerians to shun religious sentiments and focus on national development.
Chairman of Pentecostal Bishops Forum of Northern Nigeria Archbishop John Praise said: “We are not committed to endorsing anybody but you should ask your conscience and from what you have heard and from the explanation, he (Tinubu) had given to us to make your own judgement of who will better rule and handle the country.”
A female Christian leader and chieftain of the ruling party, Senator Grace Brent from Adamawa State, expressed optimism that the presidency of Tinubu will usher a new dawn for the body of Christ in the country and northern Nigeria in particular.