By James Bwala
Friends mounted at UYK Hotel in Garki 2 Abuja to deepen relationship and give support for the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima come 2023. The convergence brought party men, former Bankers, and well-wishers together to brainstorm towards a move to advocate for Tinubu and Kashim Shettima with a strong determination to ensure they give back to a long relationship that informed the decision to gather for Senator Kashim Shettima, former Borno state governor and APC Vice Presidential Candidate.
The Coordinator for the occasion and former APC National Secretary, Architect Waziri Bulama said he knows Kashim Shettima since 1968, adding that the assemblage of highly distinguished men and women whose career paths have crossed with Senator Kashim Shettima in the last 50 years coming from all over the country remains a testimony of a long relationship and widely speaks of the person of Senator Kashim Shettima when it comes to relationship with people he comes to meet in the turning of life.
“Friends of Kashim Shettima are illustrious sons and daughters who grew up with him from the same neighborhood, attended schools together, and share experiences in the banking sector and political Leadership. At the moment they are largely a diverse group of partisan and nonpartisan leaders, corporate giants, former Commissioners, former and present governors, Senators, and Political associates across the country.
“It is this rare breed of distinguished Nigerians that constitute the friends of Kashim Shettima, which mounted into a solidarity group to support the Tinubu, Kashim Shettima presidency in the February 2023 Presidential elections,” Bulama said.
According to him, Friends of Kashim Shettima are true patriots who are avowedly committed and passionate about the desires and quest of Nigerians to elect competent, highly experienced, visionary, dynamic, inspirational, transformational, transparent, and achievements-oriented teams in 2023. Adding sterling leadership qualities eloquently defines the character and persons of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.
“It is imperative for Nigerians to know the true character and attributes of the leaders that would be elected into various offices in the 2023 general elections and the emergence of a President of our dream is of paramount importance. Tinubu and Kashim Shettima have done it before in Lagos and Borno states and they will replicate the delivery of the dividends of democracy nationwide if given the mandate.” Bulama said.
He observed that Kashim Shettima’s enviable track record of infrastructural transformation, administrative sagacity, visionary and dynamic leadership as well as astute management of lean resources as governor of Borno state during his 8 years of stewardship signpost Tinubu, Shettima’s competence and ability to fix the economy and restore Nigeria to the path of prosperity.
“Many may not be opportune to know the kind of struggle President Muhammadu Buhari has made to ensure he leaves a solid foundation for growth for Nigeria. I think he has made the inroad for Tinubu and Kashim Shettima to take Nigeria to a better level and ensure the glory is returned.” Bulama added.
The Deputy Coordinator of the occasion and former Nigerian Ambassador, Babangida Aliyu said he came in contact with Senator Kashim Shettima in their days as bankers in 1999.
He described Kashim Shettima as a detribalised leader who is a unifier and bridge builder. According to Amb. Babangida since their first meeting at AIB Bank they have sustained a relationship and have continued to relate even after AIB Bank when Shettima moves to the Zenith Bank.
“Coincidentally, we all left the banking sector and join politics in our various states. He was Commissioner of Finance in Borno state while I was Commissioner of Finance in Katsina state. While he was moving into the ministries in Borno state I was appointed Nigerian Ambassador. He later became Borno state governor and our relationship keeps growing to this day.
“Over the years I have learned so much about Kashim Shettima that I know Nigerians will appreciate his qualities and humane nature as a Nigerian for Nigerians because he is a man who associates with all irrespective of religion or ethnic background. He is a true description of the Man of the people. He is very intelligent and I know his pedigree is unequal.” Amb. Babangida Aliyu said.
Yunusa Audu is a friend of Kashim Shettima since 1984. According to him, “We are convinced that in a diverse and complex country like Nigeria, we need a liberal and fair-minded Vice President that will complement the nation-building and national intervention efforts of the president. This is why well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians should support Tinubu- Shettima Presidential aspirations. Both Tinubu and Shettima have the same ideology of building people. They have appointed even nonindigenes and competent people of different faith into top government positions in their states.”
While speaking of Kashim Shettima, a childhood friend, Engr. Mohammed Wakili Suraj said Kashim Shettima, a consummate banker conveniently fits the bills and complements Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a Chartered Accountant and astute manager of human and material resources.
He agrees with many friends of Kashim Shettima who spoke at the occasion that among the three frontline runners for Nigeria’s presidency, the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima teams possess intimidating credentials that are sniffing out hope for their opponent in the buildup for 2023.