…In The North East States
If there is one Northern politician, that many people usually underestimate, it is Senator Kashim Shettima, the VP elect.
Not many know his story. Only few even know how big and influential he is in the North East.
City People can authoritatively reveal to you that the Borno politician wields enormous influence in the North East. And insiders have pointed at his major antecedents, in the way he ran Borno state, holding forth the cross of APC and his show of leadership skills within the party in all the North East States.
He is widely respected and has prove beyond reasonable doubt that he is not biased and the way he has shown kindness to all and sundry. No wonder, his style of conflict resolution and putting People first has endeared him to many, within the APC. In all North East States like Yobe, Taraba, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe, Shettima is very powerful. And he has garnered a lot of respect during the campaign, which made all APC loyalists and most his followers to vote for him for the Vice President slot.
Many top politicians and top political groups have also in no small measure reeled out the many qualities of the VP elect, Kashim Shettima and it was also this sterling qualities that has made the President elect, Tinubu to choose him.
One of such is the APC Northeast zone who commended the party’s presidential candidate, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, for his choice of running mate from the region.He said the “choice of Senator Kashim Shettima is undoubtedly in recognition of his stellar track record of competence, integrity and excellence displayed as two-term Governor of Borno State and Senator.”Shettima’s choice, he noted, “has given the APC North East Zone the added energy to rally our party supporters, members and all stakeholders in the zone towards actualising Tinubu’s presidential bid.”The party said Tinubu “must be commended for once again being a staunch democrat and progressive going by his wide engagement and consultation with stakeholders which paved the way for his eventual choice of Senator Shettima as running mate.”
What many don’t know is that Tinubu & Shettima have come a long way. Shettima and Tinubu became soulmates, when Shettima was seeking his reelection in the days of the formation of APC and Tinubu stood by him to ward off the threat from Ali Modu Sheriff, who was waiting to take a pound of flesh off him. It was this that, perhaps, pushed Sheriff into the PDP and support for Jonathan that failed and he later retraced his steps back to the APC.
Shettima, who was governor of Borno State between 2011 and 2019, ran his government on the similar template used by Tinubu in Lagos. He is a man that promotes unity and not trbalistic. Among his closest aides were an Ibo Christian from Anambra State in the Southeast, an Urhobo Christian from Delta State in the South-South, a Fulani man from Gombe in the northeast and a Hausa man from Zamfara State in the Northwest were all his image managers. He also had Yoruba Christians from the Southwest as friends.
Therefore picking a Shettima was a masters stroke. He is very popular within and outside the party, in Borno and the entire North East as a whole.
Also the Borno governor, Zulum added that there is hardly any tribe in any of Nigeria’s 36 states and the FCT that Shettima cannot knowledgeably speak about. “We are convinced that Shettima’s influence and popularity spread will soon reenact the high point in the activities of 2014 that laid the foundations of the collapse of that citadel of poor governance, indifference, insensitivity and unprecedented plunder that was the PDP president. “He knows the social, cultural, religious, economic and political structure of virtually all the 36 States and the FCT,” said the Borno governor.
The Northern Emancipation Network (NEN) also testified, “We are committed to massive mobilization in the North and stepping up in a manner never seen in northern political history to get the northern political elites to close ranks in support of the Tinubu, Shettima ticket in order to permanently seal the fate of those politicians whose personal wealth and personal ambition remained tied to the continuation of decay and destruction of a nation and a people.
After the completion of his stewardship in Borno, he left for the National Assembly as a senator representing Borno Central and has not performed badly. There is hardly any arguments you can win against Shettima, whose first hobby is reading and the second, memorising all he read and third, delivering what he read.
The issue of Tinubu’s presidency threw him up again into National limelight, when he was among the first known voices in support of the now President elect of the APC. He was among the first voices from the North to say it amounted to injustice if the power was not allowed to move to the South, and he was surely at his oratorical best, when at a launch of Tinubu presidential aspiration, he said the job of the president is not that of bricklaying.
Senator Shettima, could rightly be said to be the first proponent of “Emilokan” (It is my turn to rule, which Tinubu came up with when he saw power slipping away from him). He had said at the Abuja launch of the Tinubu Support Groups Management Council (SGMC), that Tinubu deserved the right of first refusal for his diligence in birthing the APC and securing the 2015 presidential ticket for President Muhammadu Buhari, and called on the president then to reward the loyalty of the former Lagos governor.
Shettima’s popularity in the North was said to be strong enough to boost Tinubu’s chances.
Shettima, many believe, merited his position as he saw ahead of others, and was quick to identify with Tinubu and was ready to mount the podium to sell what he believes as well as go to the public to take the bullet for him, when the situation calls for it. His choice as the APC vice presidential candidate now becoming VP elect is a reward for dedication and support, in addition to competence and capacity.
Another force which worked for Senator Shettima and made people love him up north is also because of his liberal mind towards religious issues. Senator Shettima is known not to discriminate between Christians and Muslims. He has in his government Christians who work with him, he has always include Christians in all he does, this also made a popular Christian group in the north supports his ambition. The Northern Progressive Christian Alliance (NPCA) thrown its weight behind the All Progressives Congress Flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s choice of Senator Kashim Shettima as running mate.
The group, an interdenominational Christian forum known for promoting peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance with members across the 19 Northern states, said the decision to back Senator Shettima was based on competence, performance and love for Christians during his days as the Governor of Borno State.” We know all the efforts he has done to rescue the Chibok girls and end Boko Haram insurgency at the risk his life. Also a good number of our members in Borno and the Borno CAN Chairman Bishop Naga have confirmed that under Shettima as Governor, between 2011 and 2019 , the Christian communities in Borno enjoyed a better deal and he gave priority to growth and development of all residents in the State “.
We also gathered that in the history of Borno there was no Governor that worked with Christian community and sponsored highest number of Christian Pilgrims every year since 2011 as much as Shettima.”
This and many more are part of the many weight behind Senator Shettima’s wings which has made him fly high as the top most influential APC Northern politician.
Born September 2, 1966, to the family of Sir Kashim Ibrahim, a Kanuri from Maiduguri, the Borno State, and married to Nana Shettima, with children, Kashim Shettima comes to the stage with a well-off resume.
He attended Lamisula Primary School, Maiduguri from 1972 to 1978; Government Community Secondary School, Biu in southern part of Borno State from 1978 to 1980; transferred to Government Science Secondary School, Potiskum (now in neighbouring Yobe State), where he completed his secondary education in 1983.
Shettima studied at the University of Maiduguri and earned a Degree (BSc) in Agricultural Economics in 1989. He had a year compulsory youth service at the defunct Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Calabar, capital of Cross River State in South-South, Nigeria, from 1989 to 1990.
He further obtained a master’s degree (MSc) in Agricultural Economics in 1991 at the University of Ibadan. Shettima joined the University of Maiduguri as a Lecturer with the Department of Agricultural Economics and was in the academia from 1991 to 1993. He was later to join the banking sector in 1993, when he was employed by (now defunct) Commercial Bank of Africa Limited as head of accounts unit at the bank’s office in Ikeja, Lagos State. He left the bank in 1997 to African International Bank Limited as a Deputy Manager and rose to become a Manager in 2001.
In 2001, he moved to the Zenith Bank as head of its main branch in Maiduguri. It was from the Zenith Bank that he was picked by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to become first, the Borno State Commissioner for Finance. He later traverse the Ministries of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Agriculture, Education and Health, where he cut his teeth in public administration.
He became the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the assassination of Modu Fannami Gubio, who was already picked as the standard bearer of the party. Shettima’s election as the party’s flag bearer put paid to his fledging career at the Zenith Bank, where he had risen to Senior Manager/Branch Head; Assistant General Manager (AGM)/Zonal Head (North-East), Deputy General Manager/Zonal Head (North-East) and the General Manager as he had to drop his resignation to contest for governorship at the 2011 election.
Shettima, who was elected with a vision to transform Borno, could not however turn his dream into reality as Boko Haram almost overran the state and at a point in time, controlled a larger stretch of the state.
At a particular time in the history of the state, it was like a bet between him and Boko Haram, who would win the battle of building and destruction. Whenever he built, Boko Haram would destroy, and the battle has yet to subside even after he left office. He limited himself to Maiduguri, the state capital and a few other local governments and he was able to make Maiduguri, a place of pride in spite of the crisis.
Shettima’s leadership credentials have attracted positive recognition within and outside Nigeria. He emerged the 2014 Governor of the Year (Leadership Newspapers), Governor of the Year, 2015, (Nigeria Union of Journalists, national body); Governor of the Year, 2015 (NewsWatchTimesNewspapers); Governor of the Year, 2015 (Vanguard Newspapers); Governor of the Year, 2016 (Tell Magazine); 2017 Zik Prize for Leadership; Kaduna NUJ Award for courage and exceptional leadership (2017), FCT NUJ Merit Award for exceptional Leadership, 2017.
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