Gov. Shettima: Unveiling The New Godfather Of Borno Politics By Abubakar Abba Sanusi
“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come” -Victor Hugo
With humility and gratitude manifesting in his appearance, Kashim Shettima accepted his party’s nomination to contest for the governorship seat of Borno in the 2011 general elections after the unfortunate assassination of the initial choice. Many indigenes of Borno were impressed with the choice largely because of the glorious career he had in the banking sector, his experience as a commissioner in various ministries and his academic credentials. One can confidently say that Borno had never had a more prepared candidate.
The first tenure of Gov.Shettima was quiet eventful as it was marred by the Boko Haram insurgency which stretched the purse of the state to its limits as the state government had to assist security agencies with logistics and equipment to fight the insurgency,cater for the thousands of displaced citizens and also had to find ways to minimise the impact of the economic downturn caused by the insecurity. These and many more was the nature of the day to day running of the state. But like It’s said in a chinese saying,the toughest steel is forged in the hottest fire. This and many more prepared him for the greater challenges of governance.
The events leading to the 2015 general elections showed the true colours of many Borno politicians who decamped to the then ruling PDP in an attempt to wrestle power at all cost. Despite the harassment and threats,Gov.Shettima remained in the APC and because of this singular decision Borno state is now aligned to the federal government. The people of Borno will forever remain grateful for this as it will put the state in a better position to bargain for better dividends of democracy after the monumental neglect of the region by the PDP.
Many keen watchers of politics in Borno were surprised when Gov.Shettima convinced almost all the state house of assembly members, national assembly members and all politicians of repute in the state to remained with him in the APC despite the evident intimidation from the central power. He stood firm and didn’t allow the politics of the state to distract him from the issues needing attention and it is on record that he had challenged the federal government severally on how the fight against insurgency was run. It takes a committed leader to speak out against the federal government when he knows that it can easily influence his re election efforts
The governor won the 2015 elections based on popular appeal and the Buhari political tsunami. The elections are now over and it is time to settle down and continue the good work already started and also to put the federal government on its toes in the fight against insurgency. It is also a time to consolidate the leadership of Borno politics by ensuring that all elected servants become responsible to the electorate by doing their jobs. As the newest godfather, he has a duty to secure his political empire by winning the hearts and minds of the people of Borno through developmental projects and good governance. This is what will sustain the Kashim Shettima legacy and also ensure its expansion to wider frontiers.
Sanusi, an architect writes from Abuja
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