The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reportedly settled for a Muslim running mate ahead of the 2023 poll.
A highly-competent source in the Tinubu Campaign Organisation who requested anonymity confirmed this on Sunday in Abuja, according to NAN.
The source informed NAN that Tinubu would make the name of the candidate public this week.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a national conversation about the religious background of the presidential candidates and their intended running mates.
The two major political parties — All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — have Muslim presidential candidates, and many stakeholders, including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), have asked that their running mates be Christians.
While Atiku Abubakar, the PDP flagbearer, selected Ifeanyi Okowa — a Christian — as his running mate, there are speculations that Bola Tinubu, the APC standard-bearer, will opt for a fellow Muslim as his VP pick.
“The vice-presidential nominee may most likely be a former governor and senator from the Northeast part of Nigeria,” the source said.
“The person is also by accident of birth a Muslim, confirming what Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State said on Saturday that Tinubu had settled for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.”
The source added that in picking the running mate, Tinubu was not thinking about religion but about the competence, exposure and intellectual depth of the candidate.
“The considerations given for the choice of a running mate were dictated by the need to choose an individual capable of working with the presidential candidate to take Nigeria to greater heights,’’ the source added.
According to NAN, Tinubu is scheduled to pay Sallah homage to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina, on Sunday to brief him on his chosen running mate.
The former two-term Lagos state governor won party’s ticket at the June 8 special national convention and presidential primary election.
He earlier chose Ibrahim Kabiru Masari as a placeholder for the vice-presidential slot.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed July 15, 2022, as the last day for presidential and national assembly candidates to withdraw from the race in line with Section 31 of the Electoral Act 2022.