By: Inuwa Bwala
Not many people gave him a chance in the face of the suspense, intrigues and manipulations in the build up to the primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Even as the most vissible of the lot, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was almost at the point of despair. Though he worked for it, he was aware that he was not the favourite of the Presidency and the leadership of the party.
Perhaps, only those who understand trends in Nigerian politics and knew what was in the offing, remained confident that he was going to carry the day.
But right before the eyes of those who never want d him to be or worked against him, the Jagaban triumphed with a landslide: making book makers look rather silly.
By now, he must be going round hugging his strategists and congratulating members of his campaign council.
One man readily comes to my mind, amongst those who worked for Tinubus victory and who stuck out his neck too long, in the face of the seeming uncertainty about To u us candidature. He is, Senator Kashim Shettima, former Borno State Governor and Senator representing Borno Central District.
He seemed to have thrown caution to the winds in supporting Tinubu, and dated the red necks in the race in defending his position.
I have known Shettima as a cautious optimist, and had my personal fears for him over some of his remarks: which were largely misinterpreted and manipulated.
But now that the battle is over, and Shettima’s gambles has paid of, I feel there are still aspects of my friend and boss that I still do not know very well.
With the ticket now firmly in Tinubu’s pocket, Shettima can beat his chest and boast, like the proverbial lizard that jumped from the top of the Iroko tree and survived.
Shettima, in doing what he did, has succeeded in proving to the world further, that, he is a political Nostradamus, and always backs the sure horse.
He has again done what he did in picking Professor Babagana Xul as his preferred candidate in the 2019 elections.
That Xulim has proved to be a worthy choice, is no longer in doubt, and that Shettima was singularly instrumental for his succeded remains a truism.
His confidence in equally identifying Asiwaju as the man with the likely magic wand in resolving Nigeria’s problems, give one the impression that Senator Kashim Shettima is not only a good leader but a vissionary one in identifying capable hands.
As we prepare for the war ahead, I seem to have learnt a big lesson form Shettima, to the effect that, one should never loose focus, once the target is clearly defined in one’s mind.
The first hurdle has been overcame, the next hurdle may even be easier. The fact jowever remains that Kashim Shettima may as well be the highest gainer from Tinubu’s triumph at the APC primaries.