Kassim Shettima: Nigeria’s exemplar Vice President, by Kola Amzat

While Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was bidding for the nation topmost office, he was conscious of the fact that the presidency is a behemoth that need a closely knitted, politically savvy, result-oriented, as well as resourceful and very envision team to handle.  

Consequent upon his ugly experience while he was the Chief Executive of Lagos State, he also knew he needed a cosmopolitan, cerebral, self-driven, result-centric, very experienced and more importantly, a very loyal vice president, who would key into his political ideals and philosophy(s), and would not rock the boat under any circumstance, to complement him in order to pilot the affairs of the nation.

Nigerians vividly recall Tinubu terrible experiences with his then deputy(s)-Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele and Otunba Femi Pedro while he presided over the affairs of Lagos state. With this at the back of his mind, the iconic politician was determined not to have a repeat of that better-forgotten era.

It’s instructive to submit that as the presidential candidate of APC, the ruling party, a massive political ocean was at his beckon to pick his running mate from.

He had the choices of several governors, who then just completed their respective second tenures and desirous of operating at higher political pedestal of vice president office. 

Of course, he had army of accomplished distinguished senators who wanted to transmute to the executive arm of government at higher level.

But, Tinubu was circumspect. He was cautious. He was tactical. He refused to allow himself to be ruled by the waves and political sentiment pervading at that time.

The illustrious and the political tactician unexpectedly and mysteriously opted for Alhaji Kassim Shettima, the then serving senator of Borno Central Senatorial Districts, who years back successfully completed a two term tenures as governor of Borno State.    

What generality of Nigerians knew of Shettima then was his spirited efforts, resourcefulness and resilience in confronting Boko Haram almost to standstill, while he was in charge of Borno state as governor.

Nigerians recall that he displayed gut, grit and courage in battling the dilly-dallying Goodluck Jonathan led federal government administration to draw the attention of the country and the global community to the menace of the insurgence in Borno state.

However, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu perhaps saw more than that. He probably sees in Kassim Shettima, a political warrior, a vanguard of the oppressed, embodiment of courage and a witty figure who fight the cause he believes in, with all resources at his disposal, including his intellectual prowess. So, the president made up his mind on him.     

Despite the tremendous pressures mounted on him by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to pick one of their own in person of Professor Babagana Zulum, the incumbent Borno State governor, the ex-Lagos State governor, politely declined the entreaty, firmly stood his ground and presented Kassim Shettima to the then president, Muhammud Buhari and APC leadership hierarchy as his running mate. The rest is history!

Several developments that followed thereafter, and recent discordant tunes emanating from the north concerning Tinubu presidency, as well as critical situations Nigeria find herself with respect to downturn in the economy, hostile political environment and terrible state of the nation security, as well as unacceptable state of the nation’s infrastructures, with particular reference to pains and tribulations Nigerian businesses and households are daily experiencing from power sector, have vindicated the president and proved beyond reasonable doubts that he was damn right in his choice of Kassim Shettima.

The ex-governor of Borno state and former top Banker has not disappointed, as he continually justifying the trust and confidence repose in him by the president.

Since he emerged as running mate and his eventual inauguration into the office, he has carry on the responsibility with admirable poise, candor, carriage, respect and dignity.

The vice president has proved to be a major stakeholder in the Nigerian project.

His commitment has been unwavering. His loyalty has been top-notch. He has proved to be very reliable and absolutely dependable.

He’s displayed unparalleled commitment, industry and unmatched brilliance on all the tasks that have been trusted on his path.    

At all business and political meetings -home and abroad where he’s been opportune to represent the president since the inauguration of the present government, the former banker has made it eloquently and abundantly clear through his gestures to the audience that, Nigerian presidency is ONE.    

Despite all the challenges confronting the nation-economic, political, socio-cultural and insecurity that pervades all the nooks & crannies of the country, as well as spirited attempts been made by avowed and opposition parties to divide and break the presidency, the vice president has remained impenetrable, always standing indomitable behind the president in government several tough policies aimed at reengineer, reposition, reorganize and restructure all the developmental facets.

President Tinubu has graciously & magnanimously returned to the vice president office the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigerian Hajj Commission (NAHCOM), as well as National Boundary Commission (NBC), previously taken away from the office during the reign of the immediate V/President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The above development is an indication of measure of confidence and trust reposed in Alhaji Shettima by the president, as well as his undoubted capacity and maturity to handle very difficult tasks and tough assignments.

Of course, since the inauguration of the present government, the Vice President has been impressively and patriotically handling his primary assignment[WU1]  as the Vice President of superintending the National Economic Council (NEC) as Chairman.

The National Economic Council (NEC) comprises of the VP as Chairman, as well as all the 36 state governors as members, as well as key members of Economic Management team of the ruling party.

The main function of the National Economic Council is to assist in the formulation and implementation of policies that will help Nigeria to actualize its economic ambitions over the next four years.

Articulate policies been churned out on monthly basis by the Council indicates the depth and quantum of ideas, intellectual depth and knowledge that are featuring during their deliberations.  

There are other very important national assignments that Vice president carry out from time to time that significantly bond the federal government with the north.

Even though, the popularity of the president across the country is not in doubt despite all the challenges confronting the nation, Alhaji Shettima still holds  firmly the entire north for the government, as he provides credible, purposeful and resourceful leadership for the region.     

Of course, he relates and connects admirably well with the northern power brokers-Emirs, political class and leaders of thoughts and this he does very often to assure them that government largely belong to them.

This writer is particularly enamored and sufficiently impressed with the vice carriage, poise and confidence each he’s in foreign country representing the president in key business and political meetings.

He has never allowed the glamour and marquee audience in such fora to overwhelm him, as well disturb him to roll out the economic and political statistics that it’s fast becoming his trademark.  And, this has obviously improve Nigeria brand, image and integrity abroad.  

I strongly opined that Nigerians have not seen the best of Alhaji Kassim Shettima and I encourage the country men and women to be on the lookout for more of economic, political and socio-cultural brilliance, depth and ideas from the Nigerian Vice President.


CEO, WKA Consulting,



Back to top button