Shettima: Ex-Borno gov who wept over Boko Haram invasion
A former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima has been announced as running mate to the standard flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The PUNCH reports that Shettima was announced on Sunday, July 10, 2022 following the announcement of the withdrawal of the placeholder for the position of running mate of the APC’s candidate, Ibrahim Masari.
However, there are controversies over the choice of Shettima as running mate to Tinubu.
Shettima, who is a banker and Muslim from the terrorist-ravaged Borno, will join Tinubu who is a Muslim from the South West on the Presidency ticket of the ruling APC, thereby, making the APC’s ticket a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Muslim-Muslim ticket has been described by religious organisations such as the Christian Association to Nigeria, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, among others, as a threat to national unity.
In this piece, The PUNCH highlights memorable moments of the two-term governor whose tenure witnessed the heat of Boko Haram activities in Borno.
Insecurity in Borno
On January 2, 2019, the former Borno State governor during an extraordinary security meeting to discuss the worsening security situation in his state noted that he could not criticise the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the same way they criticised former president Goodluck Jonathan over the insecurity in the North East.
Shettima was an ardent critic of the administration of Goodluck Jonathan over what he tagged as the failure of the administration to secure the lives of Nigerians in the north.
“Some persons have asked why I have not criticised the Buhari government or the Nigerian military over situations in Borno. My response to them is that unlike in previous years when I was treated as an enemy of the Presidency, I have from 2015 to date, gained unfettered access to the President.
“I see the Commander-In-Chief at the shortest request and I tell him my concerns, he listens to me with keen interest and in most cases, he takes measures. I have not had reason to be frustrated with the Presidency, unlike previous years,” Kashima had said at the meeting.
Shettima’s tears at Aso Villa
On Monday, January 7, 2019, The PUNCH reported how Shettima broke down in tears before Buhari in Abuja at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, urging the President to do all he could to stop the insurgents, who now attack communities at will.
The governor had gone to the Villa in company with Borno elders to meet with Buhari in order to seek further ways of addressing the resurgence in attacks by Boko Haram.
Others at the meeting were the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.); who is also from Borno State; former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; and the Director General of the Department for State Services, Yussuf Bitchi.
Three killed in Shettima’s convoy
On February 13, 2019, The PUNCH reported how three persons were killed in the convoy of Shettima, during an attack by Boko Haram insurgents.
Shettima, who was governor at the time, was travelling to Gamboru-Ngala on political campaign when his large convoy ran into an ambush between Dikwa and Gamboru.
Sources who spoke to The PUNCH said there was an exchange of gunfire and three persons believed to be party supporters who had joined his convoy on the campaign were killed.
While commenting on the matter, Shettima had said, “The Boko Haram basked in the oxygen of publicity, by attacking my convoy, by targeting my person, they have gotten the much needed boost. But then as they say, if you cannot withstand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
Shettima praises Buhari amid insecurity
On Monday, December 14, 2020, Shettima who featured on a programme on Arise Television, shortly after the abduction of hundreds of students from a government owned secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State, cautioned Nigerians against criticising the failure of the regime of Muhammadu Buhari to tackle insecurity.
“We respect him. We cherish him. We love him. But don’t deify him because deification is [for] God. Buhari is not God. If there are things that need to be corrected, we are going to point it out to him equivocally and unambiguously, but without playing to the gallery,” he had said.
The senator said the service chiefs have done their best but “their best is no longer enough,” adding, “Justice, equity and fairness, even common sense demand that these service chiefs should go”.
He said, “There’s been some improvement in the security landscape in the state (Borno) especially in the first two years of the Buhari administration”.