By: Inuwa Bwala
Dennis Brutus of the Shakespearean fame while being lured into the conspiracy to kill Caesar, was told that, he alone had the power to save Rome.
They told him to awake, that he was sleeping. They asked him to seek, strike and redress, as Rome looked up to him for solutions.
But what Brutus did not fathon with, was the fact that, he had the capacity to undo Caesar, but not to become the Emperor, or even return Pompey.
This seems to be the scenario paying out, with some sections if the ruling class, wooing Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, to abandon his ticket of potentially returning as Governor, to accept to be nominated as Presidential running mate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
When I cast my mind back over oast events and ruminate over the potential dangers in that venture, I could not resist penning down my take.
When clubs and associations in Borno State pulled resources and purchased and presented the nomination form for Governor Zulum’s second term, he stated unambiguously, that he cannot be a Presidential running mate to any Presidential hopeful.
According to him, though offers had been made by some Presidential aspirants, before the party primaries, he had told those who reached out to him, that, he was not cut out for the position of Vice President for now.
Ostensibly upholding the bond he entered with the people of Borno State, to stay back and complete the job of repositioning the state, Zulum was not ready to abandon the Borno ship, even with the lures of the higher office of the Vice President.
He catalogued the many reasons he cannot leave Borno now, if only to bail the state out if it’s present quagmire, the antidote to which he seems to have.
In reaffirming his resolve to remain as Governor, Zulum promised to rather forfeit the lucres of the higher office, as a mark if sacrifice for his people, who allowed him to go into the primary elections of the APC, unopposed.
Besides owing the people some measure of gratitude for the confidence reposed in him, coupled with the mire cleared prospects of winning the elections, against the seeming gamble of going for the Vice President, Zulum was being optimistically cautious.
The Governor had told all those who cared to listen, that, the people of Borno State need him now, more than ever before, and he cannot afford to abandon them, no matter the lures of where other want him to be.
When I read the news that, contrary to his earlier promises, Governor Zulum was being prevailed upon by fellow Governor’s to renege and push for his emergence as Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s running mate, I knew same to be a joke being taken rather too far.
Agreed that, he has demonstrated rare courage and pragmatism as a leader, the office of the Vice President is a different ball game from that if a Governor, where he is the ultimate boss.
It is an indisputable fact, that, his predecessor, Kashim Shettima staked everything to ensure his emergence as the candidate and eventually as the Governor, it may sound uncharitable, based on the nudge from other for Zulum to accept to compete with Shettima over the Vice Presidential seat.
I know as a matter of fact, that Kashim Shettima and Babagana Umara Zulum have come a long way, and their bond is such that defies known political soul marriages, where betrayal becomes the defining monster.
I also know as a matter if fact that, Zulum is a man of honor and will want to honor his bonds. I believe that he knows, taking up arms against Shettima will not only be uncharitable but politically suicidal.
Both Shettima and Zulum enjoy mutual respect for now, and do not have the luxury of fighting over positions, no matter the individual benefits, at the expense of that mutual friendship.
It is common knowledge that Zulum is fast ris g to glory under the tutelage of Kashim Shettima, to the extent that he maintains Shettima’s political structure.
There is every indication, that, if Zulum falls for the lures being dangled before him by fellow Governor’s, those who have so far supported him to success, may be compelled to take sides, and it may be with Shettima, who put them in positions abinitio.
If Julius Caesar had harkened to the warnings by his wife Portia and the poet, at the street corner, not to go to the Capitol that day, he might have survived the plots of the conspirators and still be the Roman Emperor at a later time.
Those who wrote the script and plan to sell it to our Governor are not being fair to him, to us or to Nigeria.
When Tinubu returns from France, by which time he might have read the warnings by non essential elements like me, I advice him to go ahead with his original plans and not accept to play to the gallery, at this early stage.
Those who were close to the Presidential aspirant have variously said it, that Tinubu body language suggests a preference for Kashim Shettima, and if the idea of a Muslim/Muslim Ticket still appeals to him, there is no need to change his mind.
Shettima withered the storm with him and delivered him to victory in the primaries, changing a winning team, midway into a game is a precursor for defeat.
So far, even those who do not like Kashim Shettima have given it to him, that he is highly intelligent, resourceful, loyal, committed and understands the dynamics of international, cum national politics.
Tinubu does not have to look too far away from his caucus to get the man with the desired credentials to serve as his running mate. Take it or leave, a Tinubu/Shettima combination is both deliverable and capable of turning around the fortunes of Nigeria.