Fact-Check: Did National Church Leaders Pay Solidarity Visit to APC’s Vice Presidential Candidate, Kashim Shettima?
Claim: Some users on a Facebook open group, Tinubu Media Team, published a claim that National Church Leaders paid a solidarity visit to congratulate Senator Kashim Shettima on his emergence as the APC Vice Presidential candidate.
The post which has generated many reactions, comments and shares reads: “BREAKING…. National Church Leaders on Solidarity visit to congratulate Distinguish Senator Kashim Shettima on his emergence as the APC Vice Presidential candidate.
“Congratulations in advance to Asiwaju Dr Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Distinguish Senator Kashim Shettima on their victory in 2023. #iambatified #BAT2023”
Contentions over the emergence of Mr Kashim Shettima, a Muslim from North East Nigeria as Vice Presidential running mate to Mr Bola Ahmed Tunubu, another Muslim from Nigeria’s South West have continued to rock the polity.
A Google reverse image search of the accompanying photo conducted by PRNigeria revealed that the image first emerged online in November 2017 when the then President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama led Bishops to pay a courtesy call on the then Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference was on an empathy visit to Borno to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Maiduguri Catholic Diocese (1966 to 2016). During the visit Kaigama eulogised Mr Shettima and admitted to being attracted to his qualities because he has proved not to be “narrow minded and myopic but rather one who is broad and fair to adherents of all religious groups as being testified by Christian leaders from all denominations living in Borno.” That visit in 2017 was reported major news platforms like here, here, here, here, here, and here, among other media.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja on Thursday described as falsehood and “fake news”, reports that its Archbishop, Ignatius Kaigama, endorsed a former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, as the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 election.
The Director of Communications in Archdiocese, Fr. Patrick Alumuku, made the clarification in a statement titled, “Archbishop Kaigama Endorses Shettima: A Disclaimer.”
Verdict/Conclusion: PRNigeria categorically states that the claim that National Church Leaders paid a Solidarity visit to congratulate Senator Kashim Shettima on his emergence as the APC Vice Presidential candidate which signalled an endorsement of his candidature is FALSE.