Babatunde Ogala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has not done anything unlawful by picking Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
He said this while responding to the controversy over Tinubu’s choice of the former Borno State governor.
Speaking on Tuesday, Ogala, head of the Legal Directorate, Tinubu Campaign Organisation, said the Lagos politician had not broken any law in making his vice-presidential candidate’s choice.
He said: “Has Tinubu done anything outside what the law permits by the choice of candidate? We need to go back to the constitution. Section 14 and 15 which deal basically with federal character, equity, fairness and justice is completely silent on religion.
“It talks about diversity, it talks about representation. The constitution didn’t talk about religion. So, there can’t be discrimination against religion.”
He said Tinubu did well to pick someone from a minority group in the country, adding that he should be applauded for his choice.
“Are we looking at the fact that we have three major ethnic groups in Nigeria – Hause/Fulani, Yoruba and the Igbos? Are we giving a thought also to the minorities, one of whom is Kashim Shettima, a Kanuri from Borno?”
He insisted that the 2023 presidential election was to be won and every candidate would do everything within the law to give himself the advantage.
Ogala said the APC, unlike the major opposition party – the Peoples Democratic Party, had done well to respond to the yearnings of Nigerians, adding that the party gave its ticket to a southern candidate as requested by the southern governors.
He, however, said having done that, the party was now looking for how best to win the election, insisting that “we are not building religious leaders, we are talking about leaders that will lead the country.”
The SAN said Shettima would deliver the votes for the APC to win the election.
He called on Nigerians to see beyond religion and focus on the bigger picture of putting together a team that could deliver the dividends of democracy to the citizens.