Now that Tinubu and Shettima hold the sword



Uba Group

Unknown to most Nigerians, the duo of President Bola Tinubu and his deputy, Kashim Shettima, were great friends and intimate politicians before the 2023 presidential elections.

As a matter of fact, President Tinubu as a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress for a considerable period contributed immensely to the cause of power shift in Borno State.

For example, there was an occasion Tinubu had to rescue the state APC and Borno from the clutches of a Borno plutocrat whom then Governor Kashim Shettima described “a wealthy tyrant”.

Governor Shettima revealed this in March 2017 during a state dinner for Tinubu at the Multipurpose Hall, Government House, Maiduguri. Tinubu was on a two- day official visit to the state during which he commissioned several projects.

Speaking at the dinner reception on how Tinubu saved Borno State from the grip of the tyrant, Governor Shettima pointed out to the bewildered guests at the occasion that the despot was so desperate for power and hell bent to take over the state APC machinery ahead of the 2015 governorship, national and state assembly elections, but met his waterloo by forces led by Asiwaju Tinubu.

“By this singular act, Bola has saved democracy, APC and Borno from the clutches of the power drunkard politician,” Shettima stated.

Shettima admitted that he was able to take control of Borno State partly as a result of the refusal of Tinubu to endorse the “Game plan of the wealthy tyrant who was so Machiavellian, desperate and fought hard to seize Borno APC but met the brick wall in the Asiwaju.”

In the word of Shettima, “Before the elections, we had the wisdom and sincerity of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who supported us to remain in control of the APC in Borno State, secured our primaries and deployed energies to winning not just the governorship, but also all the three senatorial, 10 House of Representatives and 28 State Assembly seats in Borno.”

He went on, “For us in Borno State APC, I must confess that we owe our political freedom and independence to not only our firmness, but importantly, to the wisdom and sincerity of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“I always tell people that politics is a local affair, yes, we carried out the fight and deployed different strategies for our freedom, but then, the truth of the matter is that there are two people whose contributions to us were master strokes. We have President Muhammadu Buhari’s electrifying popularity to our advantage which significantly helped us during the elections and the sagacity and prowess of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.”

Governor Shettima explained that it was in appreciation of Asiwaju Tinubu’s efforts and struggles to free Borno from the shackles of the tyrant who vowed to take over Borno State at whatever prize that prompted his administration to name the government estate in the state capital for medical Doctors “Bola Tinubu Court”. The estate is made up of 26 fully furnished apartments in five sets of three storey buildings.

Though Shettima didn’t name the tyrant, keen observers of the Nigeria political scene generally and Borno State in particular with ears wide-opened and eyes to the ground would be able to read correctly the hand writing on the wall.

Responding, Tinubu pointed out that it was a thing of joy for him not only to be in Borno to commission some projects of the state government, but to pass a night in Maiduguri, a thing that was an impossibility three years back when the insurgents held sway.

“That this is happening now is a testimony to the fact that Boko Haram has been decimated and degraded by the military,” Tinubu added.

Tinubu explained to the guests at the dinner why he and his associates of progressive mind had to strike and take over the government of Goodluck Jonathan through the soapbox.

According to him, “It was imperative to change the administration of President Jonathan through the electoral process because Nigeria was heading for the rocks and utter disintegration.”

In Tinubu’s words, “We were in a great storm and the ship of this country was challenged. We saw Nigeria drifting as if there was no captain and every patriotic person contributed in bringing the change. This country would have been missing from the map of Africa. I saw a map at Obasanjo’s library and there was no Nigeria. This would have been the situation.”


On Boko Haram, Tinubu pointed out that the sect wanted to wipe off Borno and take over Nigeria adding, “but it is a privilege to stand here today breathing a new life. Boko Haram can no longer take away our hope, unity and courage. We will win over evil.”

While Tinubu was saddened this period on the obsessive and inordinate ambition of the Boko Haram sect to wipe out Nigeria from the map of Africa, Shettima was no less enraged and disturbed. As a matter of fact Governor Shettima from the inception of his administration indicted his kinsmen as being part of Boko Haram sect.

In his first maiden broadcast to the people of the state on July 16, 2011, Shettima said “I am personally, deeply pained by the trend of events. I am a native of Maiduguri, born, bred, and buttered right in the heart of Yerwa, from Nimeri Korongoso. Most of the insurgents are from the well-known neighborhood of Shehuri North, Shehuri South, Limanti, Lamisu, Gamboru, Fezzan and Hausari wards of the metropolis. I say unto you my brothers what Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President said at the burial of his brother, Wali Ahmed Karzai some few days ago.

“Today, both Tinubu and Shettima have fully grabbed the sword as they are now in charge, piloting the ship of the nation in the troubled waters”

“….my message for them (Taliban) is that my countrymen, my brothers, should stop killing their own people. It is easy to kill and everyone can do it, but the real man is the one who can save people’s lives.”

Governor Shettima similarly indicted the bad leadership in the north for the insurgency saying, “The hottest place in the hell fire will be reserved for the Northern elites who are living in the islands of affluence and extravagance in an unending ocean of poverty and deprivation where over 80 percent of our people are extremely poor. “We take our own wards to posh private schools, abandoning the children of the poor to become ECOMOG, Yau Kalare and Yau Tauri and sundry elements to be used during electioneering campaigns. The youths are angry. We have a few years, five to 10 years to make amends or these young men will descend upon us.”

Let the nation be reminded that at the strike of Boko Haram in Borno, Governor Shettima, overwhelmed by the onslaught, told the authorities not to take the assault as a Borno affair, but to come out in unison and fight the monster, but no one took him seriously.

Besides, when the heat of the insurgency was becoming too much and the federal troops were losing much ground, Governor Shettima ran to Abuja to intimate former President Goodluck Jonathan of the frightening situation in Borno pleading for appropriate response.

He told the presidency to act and stop the “Ostrich game”.

What Shettima got from the presidency for his visit is now history as he incurred the wrath of Aso Villa and for opening his mouth too wide; soldiers at the Government House, Maiduguri were withdrawn on the order from above.

Now that Tinubu and Shettima, the understanding great associates, either through divine intervention, political expediency or design are now hooked together as the President and Vice-President of the nation under the ticket of the same political party (All Progressives Congress), it would be safe without any ambiguity to conclude that the insurgency in various manifestation or forms will get the deserved bite as a prelude to utter liquidation.

This is because some concerned citizens have been very critical and pained by the deep-rooted subversive activities and the unrelenting hellish brutality of the insurgents and the allies aimed at sending the citizens as well the nation to perdition.

There is this Yoruba proverb or saying which literally states that if your hand has not gripped the handle of the sword, you cannot avenge or demand the cause of your father’s death.

Today, both Tinubu and Shettima have fully grabbed the sword as they are now in charge, piloting the ship of the nation in the troubled waters.

The destiny of Nigeria is now in their hands. It is now left for them to tame or cut to size the monsters that have turned Nigeria into a bleeding house of horror, death, blood and sorrow.

With the accumulated experience in war of the insurgency by Shettima who was the Governor of Borno State, the epic-centre of Boko Haram onslaught matched with the resolute will of Tinubu, a goal-getter and achiever, the nation should expect no less soonest the demise of Boko Haram sect and its allies.