Why Governor Shettima should not go to the Senate
‘’ Leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory’’ Jocko Willink
By Ahmed Aliyu
To be honest, I have never met Governor Kashim Ibrahim Shettima of Borno state, whose tenure as the Executive Governor of the most threatened state in the history of Nigeria expires in few days time, neither did I had the interest to sacrifice a visit to this state of the Kanuris since the onslaught of the deadly Boko Haram terrorists.
To be frank, I was like many pen pushers across the country scared of risking my life and pen in this hitherto rich agricultural and trading state, to many journalists the fear of Boko Haram was the beginning of wisdom. So like other curious writers in the country I thought it wise to fortified myself in my safe environment inside the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to observe, comment and pen out my views about Borno State, its people and its most devastating challenge since its creation on 3rd February 1976 -the Boko Haram insurgency.
In fact, the closest I had ever come across the governor, now senator-elect was through the various news stories about him and his state in newspapers, television, radio and the internet or via the numerous articles written about him, especially those from the pen of one of his media aides, Isa Gusau whom I have also never met in person. But since what is right is right and what is good is never hidden I felt I should exposed the right and the good things about this man who boldly maimed insecurity and triumphed over forces of civilization and human catastrophes amidst one of the most devastating challenges ever witnessed in this country. And for eight dangerous years this banker turned politician and today one of the best competent leaders in Nigeria stood his ground and has left a big foot print that would take many years to fill.
Anyway, I am here to talk about this gigantic footprint by a governor whose tenure was marred by crises but still yet held his high above water and did the unexpected and his legacies are today dotting the bombarded space that has seen many lost of lives and like Rwanda springing back to life again after the genocide that took place in the Central/Eastern Africa country some years ago. I am still finding it difficult to comprehend how Shettima was able to do the things he did despite the daily suicide killings, sporadic bombing and deadly kidnapping across the state throughout his tenure. I think this is another topic on its own or better a case study for other leaders across the world to study.
Back to the reason of this article, I don’t care what Kashim Shettima and his legion of admirers, followers and tribesmen and women might think.
But as a Nigerian and a fellow citizen I must tell him boldly to his face if I ever had the chance that Nigerians don’t really need him at the National Assembly at the moment. No, not now really; why should we allow this competent Nigerian and an efficient and effective leader to go and waste four good years deliberating and debating his life away when we most needed him to come assist the president in getting us to the much propagated next level?
Yes, governor Shettima or senator Shettima should not be at the senate at this time when the country is facing one of the greatest threat and crisis in its existence as a nation. We need Shettima as a minister, not only an ordinary minister but a super minister who can come, see and conquered just as he did in Borno state. We need a man like Shettima as the FCT Minister, we urgently need a man like Shettima as the minister of power to boldly fix our epileptic and jinxed power sector. We deserve to have a bold hard working man like Shettima as minister defense, minister of works and housing or minister of interior to help stabilize our insecurity and the glaring threats to our daily existence.
No, Shettima should not go to the senate to waste his potential and effectiveness sitting and dozing at every sitting inside the red chamber or arguing over matters that has no direct impact on the Nigeria masses. I consciously believe that if Shettima can boldly build back Borno state from its bunt ashes and turned it into one of the most infrastructural developed states in the country today, then I wonder what he will do in a state of peace. I consciously believe that Kashim Shettima would help bring out the long needed infrastructural development across the country and propel us towards a more vigorous nation if appointed as one of the incoming minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and assigned that mission.
I am not here to praise or flatter Kashim Shettima achievements as governor of Borno state, no, I am writing this piece wholeheartedly as a patriotic Nigerian who cannot just keep quite over what I have seen in pages of newspapers, television and equally attested to by many of the remarkably development strides embarked upon by this true Nigerian character who has boldly exhibited the Nigerian die-hard attitude to conquered amidst so many turbulences. I am here to talk about those wonderful structures built by Kashim Shettima and his team to better the lives of the many orphans and dehumanized families as a result of the deadly Boko Haram insurgency that took over his state and other states across the north. I believe it is logical to draw our attention to those spectacular and wonderful educational structures and inspiring public schools built by the Kashim Shettima’s administration amidst the deadly sound of war, fear and so many deaths.
I sincerely believe that the Nigerian system desperately needs a creative leader like Shettima as minister or whatsoever to help replicate some of his commendable vision and development ideas across the country. Why waste this great mind in the senate when we need him to contribute in revamping our dilapidated public schools with replica of those spectacular public schools in Borno. Which child will not be proud and happy to attend school like the Babagana Kingibe Boarding Primary School, Ngomari, with its world class colourful structures, air-conditioned classrooms, decked in free uniforms and sandals? Which parent will not be happy to see his or her child in those ultramodern hostels and classrooms equipped with digital teaching aids? Or which kid will not be happy riding those flashy bicycles to school every day or indulge their time with the modern recreational facilities inside these well designed and furnished public primary schools across the state built by the Shettima’s administration?
I think Nigerians need someone like Kashim Shettima to help our educational system with world-class public schools, states of the arts libraries, solar powered and steady generators and dedicated boreholes with water reservoirs like the ones he conceptualized and turned into reality in insurgency ravaged Maiduguri. I believe he could do better in most states with peace and tranquility as most of these states governors have failed their people despite all the resources and able manpower at their disposal, including the relative peace they have enjoyed over the years.
The presidency should look inward and summon this Kanuri man to contribute his positive viewpoint and vision to our educational sector, our jinxed power sector, our moribund transport system and our shameful hospitals and public schools, including the other failed policies and development projects yearly embarked upon by various administrations since 1999. I believe the National Assembly will be depriving the Nigerian people and the nation the contribution and input of this honourable man as we move towards another phase of our history in our socio-economic and political development if we allow him to go and sit down at one of those expensive seats at the senate where his soft voice would be overshadowed by loud empty voices and ineffective committee promises. No, Kashim Shettima should not be at the senate, he deserves to be on that important seat among the new elements piloting us and our big rich ship positively towards prosperity and the next level.
Ahmed Aliyu is the Editor-in-Chief