Former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has tendered an apology to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Senate President Ahmad Lawan over remarks made against their persons during a recent interview.
Shettima, who represents Borno Central Senatorial District, had said the Vice President was unfit to win the 2023 presidential election.
He said despite Osinbajo’s good personality, he cannot defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
“We need someone who can match and even overshadow the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar. Osinbajo is a good and nice man but nice men do not make good leaders, nice men should be selling ice cream,” he had said about the Vice President.
Shettima also questioned Lawan’s administrative capacity and popularity.
He said only the national leader of the ruling party, Bola Tinubu, is capable of winning the election come 2023.
But in a Twitter thread on Sunday, Shettima who is the Director-General of the Tinubu Campaign Organisation said his words were taken out of context. He, however, apologised to the duo for what pains his comment might have caused them.
The lawmaker said he never intended to denigrate the personality of either of the politicians as he insisted that his assessment of the duo was well-intentioned.
He tweeted, “When I appeared on Channels TV last Thursday amidst the tension rippling through our political arena, it was to underline the promise @officialABAT’s presidential bid held for those yet to establish the certainty of the hurdle ahead of the @OfficialAPCNg.
”I never set out to denigrate the personality of any aspirant, and definitely not that of my dear friends and allies. None of them is an opponent, so their aspiration isn’t a threat to us.
“They appear so in the sprint to become the party’s presidential flag-bearer in the 2023 elections, but they are our allies in the marathon.
”My assessments of the Vice President, @ProfOsinbajo, and the @SPNigeria, Senator Ahmad Lawan, were well-intentioned.
“I never set out to subject them to ridicule but, rather, to stir up interest in the contrasting virtues of the cast of aspirants putting up a fight against my preferred aspirant, one most favoured and advantaged to guarantee APC’s victory in the forthcoming presidential election.
”The interpretations of my remarks on @ProfOsinbajo and @SPNigeria, Senator Lawan are, thus, being done literally and overblown.
”My words weren’t woven to portray them as unworthy aspirants, but merely to qualify them as non-threatening contenders.
“I, however, take full responsibility for my utterances and wish to appeal to our teeming supporters to neither take my words out of their metaphoric contexts nor interpret them as a measure and declaration of hostility towards my dear friends and allies.
”I hereby tender my unreserved apologies to the Vice President and the President of the Senate for the unintended pains my jibes might have caused them and their families and supporters.
”As we approach the finishing line of this tense political race, I’m not unaware of who the actual opponents are.
“A divided house, even if in the assumptions and imaginations of supporters with a distant grasp of our relationships with other aspirants, is the last impression we wish to create among Nigerians.
“I want this to be taken as an appeal to our supporters across all political camps to build bridges and mend fences as the actual journey is just about to begin. Victory, for the discerning, has always been the first lap of the race.”