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Opinion

Kashim Shettima And His Eloquent Disposition

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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.

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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.

Opinion

The Benefit of State Creation, By Adnan Mukhtar

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Comrade Adnan Tudunwada
Adnan Mukhtar Tudun Wada

 

 

On July 11, the Senator representing Kano South Sulaiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila sponsored a bill for the creation of a new state, Tiga State.

This is not the first time that people from different parts of the country are agitating for the creation of new states in their region.

The call for the creation of Tiga State didn’t start today ,During the regime of Late General Sani Abacha the creation of Tiga state gatheres momentum ,Insiders in the Presidential Villa confirmed that General Abacha have already made up his mind to carve out Tiga state from the present Kano state but due reasons best known to him the Late Head of state announced the creation of Zamfara state from the Northwest on 1st October 1996,even with that the agitation did n not die down , I came across agitators for Tigari State from Kano North and Tiga from Kano South while in Secondary school during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Ned Nwoko, a Senator from Delta State sponsored a similar bill for the creation of Anioma State.

Young men like me who are in their early 30s and not current with issues in the country may think that the recent move by Senator Sumaila was the first of its kind.

There were similar requests for the creation of Okura state out of Kogi, Aba from Abia, Hadeija from Jigawa, Katagum from Bauchi, Karadua and Kafur from Katsina, Lagoon from Lagos, Borgu, Kainji and Gurara from Niger and many more.

In 2013, the House of Representatives received more than 50 requests for the creation of new states.

The creation of states began in 1967 when General Yakubu Gowon created 12 states after abolishing the regional system, General Murtala Mohammed 7 states, General Ibrahim Babangida created 11 states between 1987 to 1991 and General Sani Abacha created 6 states.

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Some young men on social media were criticising the move by the Senator by expressing their pessimistic thoughts that the bill may not scale a second reading or get the assent of the President. They argued that such requests had never given any priority since the return to democracy 25 years ago. The idea of creating more states is dead on arrival.

Some are of the view that such moves require a very long process because constitutional amendment in the country is a very difficult thing.

While states in the country relied on federal allocation to survive, they can’t pay salaries and their internally generated revenue has been very poor; the creation of additional states is adding a burden to the Federal government at this time of economic instability.

Nigerians are facing the most difficult economic condition under President Tinubu. Sadly, the President doesn’t care to address this critical issue by going ahead to purchase a presidential aircraft that’s worth 150 billion dollars although the president has yet to increase the minimum wage, long queues at the filling stations, a bag of rice is close to 100k with a 30k minimum wage; I wonder whether the president is serious enough in attending to this matter of National concern.

Some of the agitators of this are seeking the expansion of platforms for their citizens to utilise their potential under a federal system of government.

It was not a wrong thing to come up with this idea but a constitutional right. I’m sure most of these agitators and bill sponsors are speaking the minds of their people.

Some people are accusing Sumaila of trying to divide the people of Kano. These sets of people are deceiving themselves. The people of Kano South have been crying about marginalisation and being denied the dividends of democracy since 2011.

Abubakar Rimi was from Sumaila in Kano South, he governed Kano in the second republic. Kabiru Gaya governed Kano in 1993 and since then, the people of this zone are yet to be given any chance to govern Kano.

They have also been crying that most of the developmental and infrastructural projects are been centred in Kano Central while abandoning the rural areas.

State creation in states like Kano with 44 local governments will enhance development and bring government closer to the people.

While I support the idea of having more states like in the US, we should put this at the back of our mind states are building blocks for development in the Federal system of government and will boost democratic governance.

Adnan is a political PR consultant, he teaches Islamic History, Culture and Civilization at Federal University Dutsin-Ma. He can be reached at adnanmukhtaradam@gmail.com

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Opinion

The Political Motivations Behind Nigerian State Creation: A Historical Analysis

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Nigeria's Map
Nigerian Map

 

Abdullahi Dahiru

Many proponents of state creation believe that Nigerian states were created for progress and development but history tells us otherwise.

Sarkin Kano Sir Muhammad Sanusi had dispute with the then Northern regional government leading him to abdicate the throne in 1963. Many Kano people were angry with the way the Northern regional government treated Sarki Sanusi and decided to form a pressure group called Kano Peoples’ Party, KPP. KPP agitated for creation of Kano state out of the then Northern region because many Kano people believe the regional government unfairly treated Kano province even though the province contributed revenue to the regional government more than any other province. KPP also agitated for the reinstallation of Sarki Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.

After 1966 military coup, there was tension between the Eastern region and the central government. The governor of the then Eastern region Odumegwu Ojukwu decided to secede from Nigeria to form an independent nation of Biafra. Just 3 days before Ojukwu’s decleration of independence, the head of state Yakubu Gowon abolished the regional governments and created 12 new states. The purpose of the state creation by Gowon was to reduce the power of Ojukwu and get the support of minorities and other sections of the country. Kano province was among the new states created as Kano state partly fulfilling the wishes of the KPP.

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State creation became an important aspect of military rule. Murtala regime created seven more states bringing the total number of states to 19. In 1987, Babangida’s political bureau recommended creation of two additional states to make the total number of states divisible by three, so as to get a perfect number when 2/3 of states is being computed to determine the winner of presidential election. This was to prevent the recurrence of dispute of 1979 election about what is the 2/3 of 19 states. So Babangida created Katsina and Akwai Ibom states in 1987.

Babangida and Abacha created more states in 1991 and 1996 bringing the total number of states to 36. The 1991 and 1996 exercises were done when there were pressures for Babangida and Abacha to handover power to civilians.

During the military regions committees were formed to recommend states to be created when there were plans to do those exercises. The committees receive requests from different groups for creation of states but the ultimate decision was done by the military council. The military do that often to satisfy lobbies from high ranking military officers and powerful Nigerians. It is often not about the people or development.

State creation was easy under miltary regimes since the constitution is usually suspended. A sole administrator is posted to the new state and take up grant given by government. That is very difficult in civilian administrations because of many bottle necks.

Whoever analyses the history of state creation in Nigeria he will know that it is almost exclusively done by military regimes and it is not something done for development or anything but political expediency. The most economically viable Nigerian state has remain a single state since 1967. Civilian administrations have tried several times to create new states without success. Many states that were created are surviving only because of monthly revenue allocation from the Federal Government. Without that federal allocation, they are nothing.

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Opinion

Kawu Sumaila: A Senator in need and indeed, By Adnan Mukhtar

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I forwarded a complaint to Senator Sumaila two weeks ago over the lack of water, school, and basic amenities for the people of Kawuri and Bangashi Villages at Gaya Local Government. I told the Senator that my washerman sent this complaint to me that they have been suffering for decades over lack of water and other basic amenities in their villages. The Senator replied to me with ” Noted Adnan zamuyi abun da zamu iya.”

Kawu swung into action the next day by sending his men to construct two boreholes for each town and assured them of bringing more dividends to them as they requested.

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This is called excellent representation. Doing exactly what will bring rapid development to his zone and Kano State.

Just some weeks ago, the super Senator supported a bill for the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre at Rano, the headquarters of Kano South, which was presented to the House by Rt. Hon Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, and today he is presenting his sponsored bill for the creation of Tiga State. This is a welcome development.

Something that people are not aware of is that the entire members of the House of Representatives from Kano South are united to bring something positive to their people.

People like Rt. Hon Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, Dr. Abdulmumin Jibrin are all over bringing the dividends of democracy to their people.

 

Adnan is a university lecturer, lobbyist, and political PR consultant

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