Kashim Shettima: Behold Nigeria’s incoming Vice President

IN the early hours of Wednesday, March 1, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, winner of Saturday’s presidential election.

The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, announced the final result at exactly 4:10 am, after days of collating results from across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rivals, Abubakar Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 6,984,520 votes and Labour Party (LP) candidate Peter Obi, who scored 6,101,533 votes.


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Tinubu did not run the race alone; he ran with Kashim Shettima as his running mate.

Shettima is a former governor of Borno State in Nigeria’s North-East.

Here are some things to know about the Vice – President-elect.

Educational background

Shettima, now vice president-elect of Nigeria, was born on September 2, 1966

He attended Lamisula Primary School in Maiduguri from 1972 to 1978 before transferring to Government Community Secondary School, Biu, in Southern Borno, where he spent the following two years, from 1978 to 1980. 

After that, he relocated to the Government Science Secondary School in Potiskum, where he completed his secondary education in 1983.

Shettima thereafter attended the University of Maiduguri, where he obtained a Degree (BSc) in Agricultural Economics in 1989.

He did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at the defunct Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Calabar, Cross River, from 1989 to 1990.

Furthermore, he obtained a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Agricultural Economics at the University of Ibadan in 1991.

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Shettima worked as a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Maiduguri from 1991 to 1993.

Banking career

Shettima joined the banking sector in 1993, where he worked for the now-defunct Commercial Bank of Africa as head of accounts. 

In 1997 he moved to the African International Bank (AIB) Limited as a Deputy Manager. He rose to become a Manager.

He also worked at Zenith Bank as head of its main Maiduguri Branch.

At Zenith Bank, he rose to various Senior Managerial positions before he left the bank as a General Manager in 2007.

Political career

Shettima was appointed as the Commissioner for Finance, Borno State, during the administration of Governor Ali Modu-Sheriff.

He was moved to the ministries of Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Education, Agriculture, and Health under Sheriff’s administration.

Following the fatal shooting of the initial candidate, Modu Fannami Gubio, by gunmen in February 2011, Shettima was named the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate for Borno in that year’s general elections.

On April 26, 2011, he defeated Mohammed Goni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who received 450,140 votes, to win the governorship race with 531,147 votes.

He was chosen in 2015 to lead the Northern States Governors’ Forum, an association of the governors of the 19 Northern Nigerian states.

He served as the Governor of Borno State from 2011 to 2019

However, because of his constant conflict with Boko Haram terrorists who frequently targeted the state, Shettima could not carry out most of his ambitions for the state during his time.

At one point, Boko Haram had control over a more significant portion of the state and was on the verge of taking over completely.

He was forced to confine his efforts to Maiduguri, the state capital, and a few other local governments due to Boko Haram constantly destroying anything he had constructed, and the crisis has not ended even after he left office.

After his governorship tenure in 2019, he contested and was elected as the Senator representing Borno Central at the National Assembly.

Road to the Presidency 

After winning the APC Presidential primary in June 2022, Bola Tinubu picked Shettima as his running mate for the 2023 presidential poll on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He was among the first known persons to support Tinubu’s presidential ambition.

A few of his many controversial comments

At the Abuja launch of the Tinubu Support Groups Management Council (SGMC), he sparked controversy by claiming that Tinubu deserved the right of first refusal for his efforts in founding the APC and securing the 2015 presidential nomination for President Muhammadu Buhari. 

He also urged Buhari to reward the former Lagos governor for his loyalty.

Shettima also told Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that he would be better off working as an “Ice cream seller” during the party’s presidential nomination contest.

“Nobody has doubted the competence of Professor Osinbajo. He’s a very cerebral person, but we believe that in terms of intellect, capacity, reach, and the ability to move this nation forward, and most importantly, for us to win the upcoming election, the best candidate that the APC has is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“Mind you, the dynamics have changed with the emergence of Atiku as the candidate of the PDP. We need someone who can match and even overshadow him in terms of brand name recognition, in terms of capacity. 

“This is why we are championing the cause of Asiwaju Tinubu.

“Osinbajo is a good man; he’s a nice man. But nice men do not make good leaders because nice men tend to be nasty. Nice men should be selling popcorn, ice cream.

“But he’s a very decent person. I can’t doubt that. He’s my personal friend, and I’ll rather not comment on his person. But he’s a very decent man. That I can tell you,” Shettima said.

At one point, he compared Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour party, to the comic figure Giringori.

“Peter Giringori Obi. I call him Giringori. Giringori is my play, but Giringori has absolutely nothing to offer apart from dubious statistics.”

Giringori was a character in the now-retired TV comedy series New Masquerade.




     

     

    In February 2023, Shettima advised northerners to reject PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar because of his resistance to the implementation of Sharia law throughout the region.

    “This person you call your own says you should not call him ‘Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, but rather Atiku Abubakar’,” Shettima told his audience in the Hausa language. “Your person says he is the only person that fights against Sharia in the North. Is that your person?”

    In the Emir of Daura Palace in Katsina, he publicly challenged Atiku to name eight persons he had mentored in the North or the capital projects he had carried out there while he was Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007.

    He told his audience that Atiku’s leadership would not be in the interest of the North.

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