Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Wednesday, November 16 met with the top echelon of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Tinubu in a statement issued by the media office of APC Presidential Campaign Council, met with the leadership of CAN at their national secretariat in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Tinubu attended the meeting in company of his wife, Oluremi Tinubu, running mate, Kashim Shettima, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors Hope Uzodinnma (Imo), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), and Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara).
Other politicians are Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice, Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, and the Minister of Special Duties, George Akume.
The President of CAN, Daniel Ukoh, highlighted the demands of the association to the former senator.
“They demanded among others state police or a decentralised policing system, devolution of power to states, equal rights for all religions and their adherents, right to self-determination by all ethnic groups, right to control natural resources by communities that bear them, no to open grazing, and equitable electoral system that guarantees the right to vote and be voted for by all.”
The presidential candidate stated that he only picked Kashim Shettima because he is a political savvy.
“I offer a confession. I selected Senator Shettima thinking more about who would best help me govern. Picking a Christian running mate would have been politically easier. But the easy way is rarely the right one.
“He is a brilliant man with superior intellectual capacity. He is studious and detail oriented. Enjoying excellent organisation skills, Shettima fully understands the vital difference between governance and politics.
He assured the clerics that he would not run a faith biased government.
“My belief in the need for secular government and faith-based organisations to work in unison is not something adopted recently to benefit my campaign.
“As Governor of Lagos, I partnered with the Christians to improve lives and foster education. For instance, I returned mission schools to their owners, most of who are Christians.
“I instituted yearly Christian Denomination Service at the Governor’s residence as we approached the new year. This tradition continues in Lagos.
“More importantly, we fostered an atmosphere of religious tolerance and inter-faith collaboration. My cabinet was diverse and talented.
“In the exercise of government, I did not give a thought to whether a team member was Christian or Muslim, Yoruba, Igbo or Arewa,” he said.
“I have never lent myself to baseless prejudice and discrimination. To do so would be a recipe for failure in the governance of a diverse society and I am not a man that is familiar with failing.
“I never chased people out of Lagos nor made them feel unwanted. Under my administration, Lagos welcomed all comers and continues to do so today.
“After me, Lagos has had one Muslim and two Christian governors. I may not be perfect. What human being is? But I am not a petty man secretly wedded to secret biases and prejudices,” he said.
Tinubu, thereby, hinted the audience that he would remove the fuel subsidy because it is not sustainable.
“We shall end the fuel subsidy because it has become an unproductive policy favouring an elite that needs no favours while giving the people precious little. Funds that were previously used for the subsidy will be invested in public transportation and other infrastructure education, and health.
“Let us advance to the economy point where no parent is forced to send their children to bed hungry and no one is fearful that tomorrow will bring more lack and poverty,” he said.