Kashim Shettima, Bola Tinubu’s running mate, has clarified his reference to Nigeria’s former President, Sani Abacha.
Tinubu and Shettima are running on the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket in the 2023 elections.
The Borno Central Senator is under fire for implying that Nigeria requires Abacha-style leadership.
Shettima said in a statement on Friday that his views had been distorted “to settle partisan scores.”
The former Borno State governor stated that a video of his speech in Lagos is available to the public for those who are interested.
“I never mentioned Abacha’s hospitality in my speech,” the APC vice presidential candidate insisted.
“I did a rundown of our past presidents and played up “the taciturnity and a dose of ruthlessness of a Sani Abacha”.
Shettima said his comment meant strongmen are needed “to deal with the nonstate actors who’ve turned Nigeria into a vast killing-field”.
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“I was quick to tease the audience, appreciating the humour hovering around the hall, with the familiar jibe that nice men don’t make good leaders.
“By nice men I meant those who get easily manipulated and pressured to divert state resources to appeal to private expectations”, he added.