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Kashim Shettima And His Eloquent Disposition



Vice President Kashim Shettima


By: AbdurRaheem Sa’ad Dembo

The Vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Kashim Shettima is one man with many explicit quotes. I sometimes referred to him as Barack Obama of Nigeria as I watched him on TV during campaigns and other engagements. He speaks with ease all the time.

The former Governor of Borno state is not an accidental leader as he has shown in all capacity that he is up to the task. As a Governor he did not make noise but silently achieving progress in Borno state. He was accused of sponsoring Boko Haram but that did not deter him, because he believed it was all politically motivated.

If His Excellency had not been picked as the Vice presidential candidate of All Progressive Congress by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu I might not have seen the monumental intelligence embedded in the Kanuri man. In fact, this realisation occurred not to only me but also majority of Nigerians who are members or supporters of All Progressive Congress, APC.

More importantly, the senator-elect for Kwara Central senatorial district and Turaki of Ilorin, Mallam Saliu Mustapha greeted Senator Kashim Shettima on the occasion of his birthday on 2nd September,2022 and described him as follows:”Senator Kashim Shettima requires no introduction nationally. Our quintessential incoming Vice President, regarded as the northern star-boy, has won admiration for his vibrant personality and force of credibility.
…He is a refined intellectual, a relentless achiever, and an eloquent speaker.

Given his understanding of economic and national issues, as well as his educational background as an agricultural economist, he is the ideal copilot for guiding, managing, and safeguarding our national heritage.”

Interestingly, long before his ascension to Vice Presidency I had been one of his consistent followers on Facebook, where he regularly shares supremacy jokes between Fulani and Kanuri. Such jokes have been in existence from the time immemorial but Kashim Shettima’s style made it to have more flavour and originality. In fact, I usually made comments on his post that the Fulanis are the masters of Kanuris.

In Ilorin such jokes exist too. Our Ilorin Kannikes are from Borno state and they are Ilorin Kanuris. We crack the jokes whenever we come across each other. Similarly, during my youth service at Yobe Broadcasting Corporation (YBC), Damaturu, Yobe State, the jokes always surfaced among the Kanuris and Fulanis who are staff of the corporation, most especially in the news room.

That is by the way. Having watched him closely on TV I realised that Kashim Shettima is one of the great men that usually show gratitude for whoever might have helped them in one way or the other in the past. Indeed, gratitude is one of the attributes of great men. In recent time he has always credibly referred to Jim Ovia as his mentor in banking industry. So to me, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has made a right choice for picking him as Vice President.

Our President can go to bed without any suspicion with the kind of Vice President he has chosen. One should not be surprised why President Tinubu picked him, because Asiwaju is a political tactician and strategist. In fact, former President Muhammadu Buhari at some point referred to Tinubu as a political strategist.

One does not need anyone to tutor him about Shettima’s eloquence, because he reads a lot, I surmise. In fact, recently, I saw a picture he took in his library, which is suggestive of the recipe for his intellectual acumen. When you read, you widen your horizon and hence will be equipped with the wherewithal to making inputs in every situation, be it verbal, technical, sociopolitical, cultural or economic.

According to a German Poet, Heinrich Heine “True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary,and nothing but what is necessary” Kashim Shettima knows when, where and how to talk,in view of this, let me share some of his quotes
that captivated me like a new
beautiful bride: “Osinbajo is a good and nice man, but nice men don’t make good leaders. Nice men should be selling ice cream”.
Although this did not go unchallenged by the former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in his light response that Shettima was a shareholder in Yemi Osinbajo’s ice cream company, Shettima’s words and the timing were suggestive of his intellectual versatility; politically in this wise.

In August 2022 when Shettima represented APC flag bearer Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu during the 62nd NBA conference at Eko hotel in Lagos, here is what he said to subdue the hostile crowd: “When I was told that it was a hostile crowd-I am a banker, trained by one of the best bankers in the world. I am Jim Ovia boy- I deliberately wore sneakers to snub at them”.
After this event some young Nigerians and public commentators from the opposition were mocking him, but like his usual way Shettima was unperturbed.

“Before 1999, Lagos State has only one Ambulance and Lagos was earning 700 million naira every month but Tinubu increased it to 5 billion naira”. Shettima was trying to describe Asiwaju there as a man of vision and with him as president, Nigeria will achieve steady progress.

“Dangote Refinery is a game-changer for the Nigerian economy and it will show that Africa is not only known for crisis”. He said this during the commissioning of Dangote refinery by former President Muhammadu Buhari in Lagos.

“Politics is about perception. As we begin the formation of a new administration, I deliberately picked an Igbo man, a Catholic, to be my Chief Security Officer,” he stated. “For the purpose of inclusivity and togetherness, again I deliberately picked a Northern Christian to be my ADC. So the so-called founder of Boko Haram is going to be protected by a Christian. He asserted this during a lecture in Abuja that will culminate the swearing-in of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.In the same event he referred to himself as a child of necessity.

Shettima’s voice in support of subsidy removal is another aspect of his coherent disposition. He urged the Governors to support the decision of Mr President on subsidy removal because the oil cabals are dangerous. In his words “The oil scam cabal is a very very powerful cabal that are dangerously loaded and they will go out of their way to undermine this great initiative by Mr President. I will urge our colleagues, our Governors to rally round the president and see to it that will call off the plugs of all the machinations that would be unleashed on the polity in the coming weeks. Some will certainly resist this decision but even now oil is going for 740 per litre in Togo, Cameroon has to closed down their refineries because of the cheap oil coming in from Nigeria.There is a need for us to rally round this beautiful decision by Mr President because it is for the growth of our economy. Our economy is in a very very bad shape, we either get rid of oil subsidy or oil subsidy gets rid of the Nigerian Nation.That is how bad things are…”

Earlier on 30th May, 2023 at his office, he said: “The president has already made a pronouncement yesterday on the issue of fuel subsidy.The truth of the matter is, we either get rid of fuel subsidy or fuel subsidy gets rid of the Nigerian Nation. In 2022 we spent 10 billion dollars subsidizing the ostentatious life styles of upper cross of the society, because you and I benefit 90 percent from fuel subsidy, the poor 40 percent benefit little from fuel subsidy”

Senator Kashim Shettima, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria also described the fuel subsidy and multiple exchange rate as two big elephants.

Finally, the Kanuri man has exhibited the necessary prerequisites for identifying a conscious leader through his consistent disposition during campaigns . Indeed, he would be a great asset to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

May Nigeria succeed under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.


Emotional Farewell: Staff Bid Adieu to Departing Executive at FCTA




By Bala Ibrahim.

In Arabic, the name Najeeb means the Distinguished, the Noble or the Outstanding. The Arabic dictionary says if you’re seeking a name with inherent star power, Najeeb will make for a lovely fit. It is the masculine respelling of the Arabic favorite, Najib, which stands for the Distinguished.

Yesterday, Friday, 29/09/2023, I had reason to write on one of the 21 Chief Executives at the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCDA, that was relieved of his duty by Minister Nyesom Wike. As of the time of writing the article, I hadn’t any inkling about his name or the company he headed. Within minutes of the release of my article, responses came in torrents, giving the name, the agency he headed, his state of origin and an addendum, spelling out his personal qualities which people admire. These include honesty, generosity, courage and selflessness. His name was given as Najeeb, Najeeb Abdulsalam, whose sojourn as the Managing Director of the Abuja Urban Mass Transit Company, AUMTC, was cut short by the Minister of the FCT, barely three months on the saddle. I was made to understand that Najeeb came from Danbatta, in my native Kano state. In short, Najeeb Abdulsalam was described by many as a man of noble character. The encomiums were so encouraging that they gave me the justification for this follow up article.

For starters, I must make it very clear that the mission of the article is not in any way meant to support Najeeb for reasons of nepotism, not at all. I wrote without even knowing his name or where he came from. I was only touched by the show of uncommon support, solidarity and the sincere sentiments from those he led, alongside the testimonials of those that know him.

His staffers’ account gave the picture of an Officer and a Gentleman, with commitment to discharging correctly, the work he was assigned. Some of the staff that served under him were even volunteering to go with him, should the Government refuse to reverse the termination of his appointment. It is not surprising, because the name Najeeb is meant to go with a certain degree of nobility. Indeed I know some Najeebs, and truly all of them are noble and outstanding. One of the testimonies I received about Najeeb Abdulsalam is thus:

“I can proudly say that I was part of the overwhelming success he recorded during his 3 months+ long tenure at the agency. A friend and a business associate of mine financed the supply of spare parts and supervised the repairs of 37 number buses of the agency. The repairs are almost concluded with about 5 more buses to go out of the Lot. I managed the whole transaction on behalf of my friend. If merit was a yardstick for appointment into public office, Najib would have received a merit award instead of having himself unceremoniously sacked from office by the HMoFCT Bar. Nyesom Wike”.

Another one says: “Individuals like this should be fished out by the leadership of Government and celebrated to serve as an encouragement for others to perform well, Najeeb is highly disciplined and upright individual that I know, being a former Local Government Chairman twice”.

If the society sees traits like integrity, honesty, courage, loyalty and fortitude as the virtues of good behavior or character, then people like Najeeb Abdulsalam should be among the cardinals of the system. Three out of the 8 point agenda of President Tinubu are, Job creation, Adherence to the rule of law and the Fight against corruption. With people like Najeeb Abdulsalam at work, I see Asiwaju’s ambition as a fait accompli.

The Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited (AUMTCO), where Najeeb Abdulsalam was heading up till last week, was established by the then Ministry of Federal Capital Territory, which had a change of name to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in 1984, as Abuja Bus Service (ABS). It later mutated to Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited, AUMTC. The ambition is to implement an environmentally friendly and sustainable Urban public transport system in the FCT, for effective, comfortable, safe, regular, efficient and affordable transport service delivery. The company has had a sizable turnover of chief executives, who served for years at various times, but according to insiders, non came near Najeeb Abdulsalam in performance. And he was only there for three months.

On his first day in office as the Minister of the FCT, Bars. Nyesom Wike promised to restore the national capital’s master plan by cleaning up the metropolis, instilling orderliness and ensuring infrastructural reforms, which were destroyed by decades of corruption, incompetence, carelessness and impunity. If the Minister is serious about matching words with action, people like Najeeb Abdulsalam should not be removed from the saddle.

Najeeb’s antecedents have given Kano state additional magnificence, especially when put alongside the recent story of Auwalu Salisu, the 22-year-old commercial tricycle operator in Kano, who returned the sum of N15 million, forgotten by a Chadian commuter in his tricycle.

The Minister of State in the FCT, Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure is an indigene of Kano. She must rise up to the challenge, by waking up to smell the coffee. The country needs people with integrity to manage it. And in Najeeb Abdulsalam, I see a glimpse of such noble-mindedness.

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Kano State Education In 100 Days-Muazzam



Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf

Let me begin by refreshing our memory with the popular saying of the African Independence Revolutionary Nelson Mandela who said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This is a clear testimony that any nation which wants to progress and have an independent life must make education its priority in governance.

This important reason is what led Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankaso’s Administration in the years 1999-2003 and 2011-2015 to introduce a primary school pupil feeding program, providing them with free uniforms, canceling school fees, introducing the payment of SSCE fees to Secondary School Students, establishing State Universities, and offering overseas scholarships to outstanding indigent students to study in different disciplines. Today, many of these students have recorded tremendous achievements and are contributing their best to the state, Nigeria, and overseas.

His Excellency Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf promised during his campaigns that he would continue from where his Leader Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso left off. Education was made a priority in his blueprint, being the first, second, and third agenda items. This was stated by H.E Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso several times and was reiterated in the RMK 2023 Blueprint, page 3: “Education is a public good, we shall ensure, through the correct reforms and investment, that all our schools provide the appropriate quality education to our citizens…”

The first assignment of Engr. Abba Kabir on education was in primary education. He conducted a special investigation on AGILE, a program that supports girls’ child education. He selected 19 LGAs for the program and disbursed the sum of N917 million to benefit 45,850 female students. Unfortunately, this World Bank-supported project didn’t receive the required attention and results until now. One may inquire from 23/6/2023, when the program was launched until today, about how many female children are enrolled in school, especially in rural communitiesThe results would be certainly amazing.

Secondary school students in Kano State are in joyful moments after the Executive Governor of Kano State paid their NECO fees. The previous APC administration had abandoned the examination fees of 55,000 students, but they turned a deaf ear towards the end of their administration. To save the students from this quagmire, the Kano State Government ordered the release of N1 billion to ensure they were eligible for the examination. It might interest you to know that 11 boarding schools were abandoned in the past administration, and N79,284,538 million was released for their renovation and reopening during the 5th State Executive Council.

On 23/8/2023, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf, approved the payment of N700 million to 7000 Kano indigent students at Bayero University, Kano. He also approved the renovation of pedestrian bridges at Bayero University, Kano, Sa’adatu Rimi University, Kano, and Aminu Kano College of Islamic and Legal Studies, Kano, which were abandoned since 2015. We have another great effort where 131 Kano indigent students have been approved to travel overseas for a Master’s Scholarship Program sponsored by the Kano State Government.

This is a clear indication that the Education Sector has been made a priority in the first 100 days under the Leadership of the NNPP in Kano State. During the past APC administration, releasing funds for the Education Sector to cater to its immediate needs was not easy. They were more inclined to demolish school structures to transform them into shops, plazas, event centers, or recreational facilities. This behavior drove donor agencies and organizations to neighboring states like Katsina and Jigawa State to fulfill their charitable gestures.

We have reason to thank the Almighty Allah for these wonderful and generous gestures. We believe and hope that the first year of H.E Abba Kabir Yusuf’s administration will bring back the lost glories in the education sector in Kano State, Northern Nigeria, and the country at large, In Shaa Allah (God willing).

Ibrahim Mu’azzam Senator SSA Public Affairs to the Kano State Governor

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In my piece of August 23rd, 2023 titled “Blackmail Against Judiciary and Threat to Kano’s Security”, I brought to the fore the position of Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, owing to comments on Radio made by his Broadcast Media Aide, Abdullahi tanko Galadanchi. From those comments, the Governor counted on nothing to achieve victory, other than bribing the Honourable Judges of the Tribunal. This position was further affirmed by a leaked audio attributed to a Political Mobilization Aide for Kano South, who advised the Secretary to the State Government to ensure that all funds are channelled to procuring favourable judgement, even if to the detriment of the state, he emphasised. The Secretary to the State Government also, in his speech to mark 100 days of the government in office, attributed the administration’s failure to fulfil some of its promises to paucity of funds caused by enormous expenditure related to the proceedings of the Election Petition. Summarily, the administration has in its dwarfed wisdom, stylishly legitimised efforts to procure judgement through emotional blackmail, all of these came on the back of threats to lives of Tribunal Judges, and threats of making Kano a field of cultivation of lifeless bodies through anarchy and banditry.The administration of Abba Kabir Yusuf is indeed always clever by half; I predicted the ouster of some appointees that outwardly made heated, inciting or compromising statements, however in its narrow foresight, the government sacked only two out of numerous appointees that danced to an obviously authorised drum and song. We saw the Secretary to the State Government on video, accompanied by some Commissioners, threatening fire and brimstone, saying unambiguously in Hausa that “duk wanda ya taba mana zabe a Kano, sai dai uwarsa ta haifi wani”. This is the worst form of debasement that government has ever been brought to in the history of Kano State. The most senior appointed official of government threatening lives of Honourable Judges is indeed worrisome to every sane mind. Of course, tens of appointees followed suit thereafter, expressing intentions to wreck unprecedented havoc in the event of an unfavourable judgement, one after the other, we listened as they clawed at imaginary straws and have continued to sank even lower into abyss. In the case of self-acclaimed rufflers of feathers, Kperoogi and Naja’atu, it is funny that they missed the threats to lives of Honourable Judges and did not pay attention to government officials threats to make Kano worse than a banditry-torn Zamfara and Katsina; rather they only found their sense and logic in seeking a court to defend the indefensible and become father Christmas by granting Abba and NNPP that which they did not ask of the Court. Their illogical logic did not cause them to realise that APC in its petition raised numerous issues around non-compliance, and the NNPP even after its poor defence (due mainly to its complicity in the matter), failed to file any counter against the APC to cause us to have to defend the lawfulness of our votes. Yet, Kperoogi and Naja’atu believe that the court should have fed Abba & NNPP in their mouths, since Kwankwaso has made that a birth-right of theirs. In her comments, Naja’atu also exclaimed that if elections were to hold in Kano today, Abba would win by a landslide; this same woman not too long ago said the same of Atiku Abubakar, and we all recall how badly he was trounced in her home state of Kano.One would imagine that Kwankwaso, Abba & NNPP would have learnt a lesson or two from the irreparable damage the recent loss in court has caused them. Unfortunately, Abba through his mouthpiece, Bature, has come out to claim that the Honourable Judges might have been made to give judgement under duress. This speaks volumes of the failure of the Abba administration to see what is placed right before them, right in front of their noses. The Honourable Judges in their submissions have outrightly made clear the reasons why they chose to pronounce judgement via zoom, and it is the fault of none but those who demonstrated an uncultured, recalcitrant and violent tendency by threatening lives of judges and peace of the entire state, in the event of a loss. Let me do Abba and Bature a favour of asking them to read page 226 of the judgement, and frankly undertake an introspection exercise before engaging the public on such a matter again. Since I know you both may still be in slow recovery from the reality check dished by the Tribunal, I will assist you with some of the painfully piercing lines; “I use this opportunity to condemn the gang of Red Cap wearers… I am in no doubt that the security Agencies know and are aware of those who removed their eyes from their case and put it on the Judiciary. They are also aware of those who extended the threat further by declaring that THEY WILL KILL THE JUDGES. THIS THREAT MUST NOT BE SWEPT UNDE

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