Tinubu & Shettima Combo: The Dawn of a New Nigeria?

Ahead of the Presidential poll in 2023, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has confirmed Senator Kashim Ibrahim Shettima as his running mate. In a country where millions have become very sentimental about their religions, is the risk of a Muslim/Muslim ticket worth taking?

Many have opined that it will be difficult for the presidential candidate of the ruling party, Bola Tinubu to choose a Christian running-mate considering the choices available to run with him. Feelers from Tinubu’s camp had narrowed the choice to three people- all Muslims and the opposition to a Muslim choice swelled by the day, especially by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), who became vocal about its opposition.

Did Asiwaju dare CAN? The Tinubu’s camp has reacted that Senator Shettima remains the best choice for the ticket to win the General election. Shettima is said to be a moderate Muslim and many have opined that Asiwaju Tinubu’s wife, Senator Remi Tinubu is a pastor in one of the Pentecostal churches- so the ticket is a moderate and tolerant one What has become strange is the apparent fear in the opposition camps since Senator Shettima was nominated. Shettima is said to bring a balance to the ticket. Time will tell if the risk is worth it.

Who is Kashim Shettima?

Senator Shettima was born on 2 September 1966 in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria to the family of Sir Kashim Ibrahim. He is married to Nana Shettima and blessed with three children. He is a Nigerian banker but famously recognized as a politician who is currently serving as a Senator representing Borno Central. He was also a former Governor of Borno State between 2011-2019.

Shettima graduated from the University of Maiduguri, and the University of Ibadan. He then ventured into business and banking, after schooling. He held various positions in the banking industry and notably became the Manager of Zenith Bank Maiduguri in the mid-2000s. In the year 2007, he became a state cabinet member to Governor Ali Modu Sheriff serving as a Commissioner in 5 Ministries namely: Commissioner of Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Education, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, and Health.

Four years later on 26 April 2011, he was elected governor of Borno State under the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and likewise was re-elected back in 2015 for a second term in office under the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He also served as Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, an umbrella body of Governors in the 19 States located in northern Nigeria. His tenure in office was dominated by the deadly Boko Haram insurgency in which he managed efficiently the challenges that arose as the governor.

His government regularize the establishment of youth volunteers called the Civilian JTF with the approval of the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Army in 2013. He approved salaries, kits, and patrol vehicles for the civilian JTF while at the same time giving so much support to the Nigerian Armed Forces.

In return, the volunteers played a great role in supporting the military in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram insurgents. He also mobilized community intelligence by providing hundreds of patrol vehicles and material logistics to the military and all other security agencies.

Despite the intense war against the Boko Haram insurgency, Governor Kashim Shettima encouraged and mobilized more residents towards rising in defense of their heritage. He coordinated and provided temporary accommodation, rehabilitation, and resettlement of victims of the Boko Haram insurgents.

In rebuilding, he focused on the expansion and remodeling of existing schools and the building of new boarding primary and junior secondary schools to cater to over 50, 000 unaccompanied orphans whose parents were killed by insurgents across the 27 local government areas of the State.

His leadership contributions have won him various awards and recognitions. He emerged the 2014 Governor of the Year (Leadership Newspapers), Governor of the Year, 2015 (Nigeria Union of Journalists, national body), Governor of the Year, 2015 (NewsWatchTimes Newspapers), Governor of the Year, 2015 (Vanguard Newspapers), Governor of the Year, 2016 (Tell Magazine), 2017 Zik Prize for Leadership, Kaduna NUJ Award for courage and exceptional leadership (2017), FCT NUJ Merit Award for exceptional Leadership, 2017

In February 2019 he became the winner of the Borno Central Senatorial District election.

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