Senator Shettima’s Rendezvous With His Past

By: Inuwa Bwala

The ominous signs that something is wrong with my system were enough to weigh me down, but the urge to write remains an irresistible temptation, especially when the subject is one about which I have been so passionate.
As I sit idling away in despair, somebody sent me the text of Senator Kashim Shettima’s remarks at the maiden Annual Lecture of the University of Maiduguri Alumni in Abuja.
Before I contemplate my next move in seeking solace, I decided to say something on that piece of oratorical excellence.
Those conversant with the story of the former Borno state Governor, should have known that, Shettima cut his teeth as the renowned intellectual that he has turned out to be learning from the University of Maiduguri. Interestingly, he went back to teach there.

His sojourn into banking and politics could best be described as circumstantial, as traits of his intellectual attainments at the University remain the strongest moving forces behind his success in banking and politics.
Every time I write about Senator Kashim Shettima therefore, I end up playing around with his own exact words and expressions, without adding anything new; knowing that the former Governor is himself a wordsmith.
The danger in allowing people like Kashim Shettima to speak before others at every event lies in the fact that, subsequent speakers after him may not be able to cut the ice with the audience.
The temptation to write about what happened at that alumni event, was made even stronger, knowing that I may be off the scene for some time and by the time I return so many things may have happened where he may be invited to stay many other things.
Kashim Shettima in his ever exciting delivery took what should be the crux of his message to the last part of his speech, to the effect that products of every system should always look back.
After taking his audience through the nostalgic journey of the banalities, and misadventures of university life: the excitements, the fears and anxieties, the thrills of campus rascality and the joy of emerging from it worthy in character and leaning,
drew attention to fundemental essence of coming together after the campus experiences and to relive the experiences.
To me, that call was the climax of the event, which revolves around the duties expected of graduands of the University of Maiduguri; to pay back what they may have benefitted from it.
In reminding his alumni of what is expected of them, Shettima highlighted the possible impact such gatherings could make on the general development of our Universities, especially in a country like Nigeria, where alumni gatherings transcend mere coming together to socialize, to coming together to mobilize resources for development.
Even as the chairman of the occasion, Senator Kashim Shettima stole the day, holding his audience spell bound, drawing down on the so many benefits of post campus rendezvous, which could be translated into lofty avenues to strategize for national development.
Somebody once told me after watching the Senator speak on television, that, Shettima is the kind of human resources Nigerians should never allow to waste. To the man Shettima demonstrated exceptional brilliance in combining politics and intellectualism without losing his sense of statesmanship.
That will be a story for another day.

Before APC Goes To The Eagle Square: Kashim Shettima On My Mind


By: Inuwa Bwala

Somebody described the forthcoming convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC as unusual. Everybody is still guessing whether it will hold or not and what might be the likely outcome.
Nothing in the air suggests whether the convention will hold as the usual media frenzy that predate such important event is not there either.
No committee or sub committee is seen on the field doing what is associated with national conventions of major political parties.
Except for the posters of contenders for the National Chairman in particular, the Eagle Square bereft of the preparations which take weeks to perfect. There are no signs of any up coming event, yet the convention is barely a week away.
The absence of certain conventional characteristics however do not suggest that nothing is being done to reposition the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Reading the body language of major stakeholders of the party, it is quite possible that they are working towards a consensus arrangement, that may tend to redress possible fallouts of competitive contests.
Besides this, I also know as a matter of fact that, the party is scheming to produce a National Working Committee that will not only improve upon the fortunes of the APC, but will give the opposition the run for it’s money.
In the last few weeks, since the confirmation of the date of the National Convention, individuals and groups have tried designing a roadmap for the party, even as others are manipulating the media to push for the emergence of their preferred candidates.
It is not an anathema for people to sell candidates, but it is most uncharitable to sell candidates based on their geopolitical, religious or sociocultural identities.
Without prejudice to the candidature of those who have openly thrown their hats into the ring, my bet still remain Kashim Shettima, former Borno State Governor, now Senator, representing Borno Central.
If the APC hopes to reposition and sustain it’s hold on power, the next National Chairman should be in the mould of Senator Shettima: an intellectual per excellence, a gogetter, team player, demonstrable leader, loyal party man, a detribalized Nigerian and a statesman.
The vision with which he governed Borno, the ideas he pushed into the Northern Governor’s Forum, as its Chairman and the dexterity in his presentations in the Senate, coupled with his known political sagacity, remain Shettima’s highest selling points.
Even as a science oriented intellectual, Kashim Shettima is blessed with exceptional oratorical capabilities, which often captivates his audience, including his colleagues in the red Chamber.
Shettima speaks reason into a vaccum, gives hope in despair, builds confidence in cowards, instills mutual respect amongst antagonists, predicts the future like a seer and above all leads with the wisdom of Solomon.
Some once described Kashim Shettima as a shrewd contriver, a master schemer and a cautious optimist, all of which combine to make him the leader the APC needs at this point if political rebirth.
Governor’s of the APC should be comfortable with him coming from amongst them, and against the roles he plays in building bridges of friendship. His fellow Senators should be at home with him, being conversant with his mediatory roles in conflicts, party elders could see in Shettima a young man imbued with statesmanlike qualities, the should will agree that Shettima has been the bridge between them and the older generation.
Women respect Kashim Shettima for his demonstrable gender sensitivity. The South have in Shettima a brother born in the North, while the North see in him an advocate for equity, justice and fair play. With time, when he nay have been tested, Nigerians will agree, that, the solution to the clamour for good leadership is right here.
Given the calibre if leadership in the main opposition, the PDP, the APC needs the services of an intellectually studded leadership, a politically motivational Chairman, a bridge between the old and the younger generation, the North and the South, Christians and Muslims and Nigerians generally. The APC needs Senator Kashim Shettima.
Should the APC decide to go otherwise, the may be missing what they need most, and should they tow the line of my thought, which many others share, then one can safely say they are home.

Kashim Shettima Appointed as Future Assured College board chairman By Aisha Buhari

By: Ali Musa Biu: Maiduguri

Former Governor of Borno, Senator Kashim Shettima has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Future Assured College, Maiduguri.

Wife of the President Aisha Buhari made the appointment in her capacity as founder and Chairperson of the Aisha Buhari Foundation, which founded and built the school.
Intended to cater for the educational needs of victims of Boko Haram Insurgency in the Borno state Senator Shettima is to head an 11 man Board of Trustees.

Inaugurating the Shettima-led 11-member governing board of the college at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday, wife of the President charged members
to shoulder the responsibility with utmost dedication and selflessness.

She said “I carefully chose you as members of the board to oversee the management of the college. The task is huge, but I believe it is surmountable.

She expressed gratitude to the government and people of Borno for their support and cooperation.

Mrs Buhari also thanked the TY Danjuma Foundation and other development partners for the support toward the success of the project.

In his acceptance speech, Senator Kashim Shettima expressed gratitude to the president’s wife for finding him worthy of the appointment.

He expressed determination to deliver on the mandate by ensuring that the standard of the school was maintained to benefit orphans.

Buhari describes ex-governor Shettima as one of Nigeria’s success stories

President Muhammadu Buhari has described former Governor of Borno, Kashim Shettima, as one of Nigeria’s success stories “since the beginning of the recent democratic journey.”

The president stated this in a congratulatory message released by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja to mark Shettima’s 55th birthday, on Thursday.

President Buhari said: “I’m proud of Shettima for his achievements in office as one of APC’s best Governors in the country.

“Former Governor Shettima was able to make his mark inspite of the challenges of insecurity.”

According to him, crisis is the truest test of a man’s ability and Shettima proved his mettle.

The president affirmed that Shettima, now serving his people in the Senate, “didn’t disappoint the electorate because he was able to fulfill his key campaign promises.”

He noted that, “one of the great things for which Shettima would be remembered is the fact that he handed over the State to a competent and a worthy successor in the person of Prof. Babagana Zulum.”

Kashim Shettima: My Boss/Friend @54

By: Inuwa Bwala

The story of Kashim Shettima, former Governor of Borno State, now’ Distinguished Senator representing Borno Central Senatorial district in the National Assembly, could be likened to that of the hunter, who picked what he thought was a puppy during a hunting expedition, only to realise that it was actually a baby lion on returning home.

From the background of a university lecturer, Shettima became one of the Most successful but quiet bankers north of the Niger. His records in Zenith bank where he was discovered and picked for political office speak volumes about Kashim Shettima’s rise to Stardom.
As a commissioner in the cabinet of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the then Governor of Borno State, Shettima distinguished himself so we, and was on the move very frequently from one ministry to another, where he set standards in job delivery and resources management.
Many of his colleagues thought he was over pampered, but most of us also could not deny the fact that he was ahead in meeting the expectations of our boss.
Regarded as a greenhorn in politics at that time, nobody gave him the chance of being picked as Sheriffs successor. Even when he eventually emerged, so many people, including the then Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, thought the furthest he could go is a one tenure Governor. What was not known to all of us, was that, Kashim Shettima deliberately concealed his potentials like the lion cub, and when they began to manifest as he took full control, there seemed no stopping him, not even by the forces we thought were indispensable.
He conquered the political space and rendered those who wrote him off voiceless. Even his ardent critics hailed him as the emergent political force from the Sahara. He went on to become the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum at a very challenging time. He made the greatest impact of that office, leaving behind an oversized shoe.
I often tell people, that, Kashim Shettima is the type, that. the more one tries to know him, the further one tends to get away from his concealed personality.Even those who loath him, do secretly admire his intellectual candour, his mastery of English and his delivery if speech
Kashim Shettima can mesmerize even the best of orators whenever given the opportunity to make public speeches.
Very often, when he rises to speak in the Senate, Shettima holds his colleagues spell bound and delivers his message with the mastery of a born orator.
I cannot help agreeing with one of my friends who observed that Kashim Shettima reads so many books, especially philosophical books, and that explains why he could quote so many philosophical texts in a row with such precision that one may think he is the original author.
He is what journalists describe as a reporters delight, when he begins to philosophise on contemporary events marrying same with past philosophical forecasts.
His sheer intellectual bravado has endeared him to so many people, including his older colleagues in the red chambers, and political pundits rate him amongst Nigeria’s upcoming politicians to watch in the nearest future.
I have had my very bitter quarrels with him and could claim to know him very well. One aspect of him I am yet to comprehend is Kashim Shettimas ability to win the confidence of people, including his arch enemies. Such men are rare nowadays.
He often reminds me that we are contemporaries and compatriots, but he is far ahead in so many things. And it is because I do not hope to ever catch up with him in those areas he has comoarative lead, that I regard him more as my boss, much mire than my friend, even though he prefers we relate as friends. Happy 54th birthday my boss friend Distinguished Senator Kashim Shettima.