Details have emerged on how the Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum turned down the offer to become the running mate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu.
Zulum’s refusal was cited as one of the major reasons for APC’s delay in selecting their vice presidential candidate
A source who spoke with PUNCH said the APC governors had wanted Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu and his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir El-Rufai but Tinubu initially offered the ticket to Zulum.
An associate of Tinubu who spoke on the development said Zulum was offered the ticked on a silver platter considering he was the most popular option but he repeatedly turned it down because of two main reasons.
Zulum said he was eager to complete his tenure as governor of Borno State and implement his reconstruction programme.
Secondly, his loyalty to Shettima was a factor considering they have maintained a cordial relationship which is rare between governors and their predecessors.
According to the source, Zulum stated he would accept the VP slot if Shettima asked him to take it but it was difficult for Tinubu’s men to ask the former governor when it was obvious that he also wanted the job.
The anonymous associate of Tinubu said: “Based on wide consultations as well as a survey, Zulum was the most popular option. He was repeatedly offered the ticket but he turned it down for two main reasons. The first was that he was eager to complete his tenure as governor of Borno State and implement his reconstruction programme.”
“Secondly, his loyalty to Shettima was also a factor. Zulum was Shettima’s commissioner when he handpicked him as his successor in 2019. They have maintained a cordial relationship which is rare between governors and their predecessors. Zulum finally stated that he would only accept the VP slot if Shettima asked him to take it.”
“But it was difficult for Tinubu’s men to ask Shettima to plead with Zulum to take the job when it was obvious that Shettima also wanted the job. With INEC’s deadline fast approaching, Shettima became the sure option. In any case, Shettima’s loyalty to Tinubu has never been in doubt. So, it became easy to settle for him.”