Borno State, located in the north-eastern part of Nigeria, was created in 1976, with Maiduguri as its capital. But by 1991, Yobe State was created from it. The state is populated predominantly by the Kanuri people. But there are other ethnic groups like Lamang, Babur/Bura and Marghi in the southern part of the state. The Shuwa Arabs, who are mainly the descendants of Arab people, are also found in the state.
From 1979 to date, the state has produced six democratically elected governors. They are Alhaji Mohammed Goni, Alhaji Asheik Jarma, Senator Maina Ma’aji Lawan, Alhaji Mala Kachallah, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and outgoing governor, Honourable Kashim Shettima.
At the end of his first tenure in 1983, Goni failed to secure a second term. Like Goni, Kachallah too failed a second term bid in 2003. He was dislodged by Sheriff, who was elected in 1999 as the senator for Borno Central senatorial district. Sheriff became the first governor in the state to break the second term jinx.
But after eight years as governor, he attempted to return to the senate but he was roundly defeated as a sitting governor in 2011.
Like Sheriff, Shettima, who was first elected governor in 2011, also won his second term bid against all odds. But unlike Sheriff, Shettima has been rewarded by the people of the state. He will be rounding off his second term in office, by May 29, to resume in the Senate in June as the senator that would represent Borno central senatorial district, beginning from June.
Brief on Shettima
In Nigeria, Borno State has generally been regarded as the epicentre of the Boko Haram war. At the height of its insanity, bombs rained, casualties soared, while tears and fears ruled the hearts of the people.
But, Governor Kashim Shettima would not surrender. Providing great support to the efforts of the Federal Government, Boko Haram insurgency may not have been totally wiped out, but many would agree that things are definitely not as they used to be. It takes a man of courage to have weathered the storms and not falter.
Shettima was never a member of PRP or NEPU. But his ideas about politics and governance can be squarely located in the Talakawa ideals and principles of politics and governance, which NEPU and PRP disciples are known for, in the North.
Upon assumption of office in 2011, at the height of Boko Haram insurgency, Shettima pleaded to be given the opportunity to prove that leadership under the country’s constitutional democracy “can be humane and people-oriented.” So far, he has proven that, surviving the hard time of territory snatching and occupation by Boko Haram and fulfilling his obligations as governor.
A visit to the state will make one wonder how he managed to build the entire infrastructure on ground despite insurgency.
On the national scene, he led the struggle to ensure that the quit notice issued last year by some northern youths to the Igbo residing in the North was withdrawn. Again, once elections were over in 2015, and some APC members were accusing the Igbo of not contributing anything to Buhari’s victory, Shettima came in defence of the Igbo, declaring that the mere fact that the PDP could not record the figures it posted in 2011, from the South East, in 2015, was enough contribution to APC’s victory by the people of the region.
Born in September 2, 1966 in Shettimari, Lamisula ward, Shehuri north of Maiduguri Metropolis (MMC) of Borno State, Shettima attended Lamisula primary school, Maiduguri, from 1972 to1978, before proceeding to Government Community Secondary School, Biu in 1978, for his secondary school education. But by 1980, he was transferred to Government Science Secondary School, Potiskum, where he completed his secondary school education in 1983.
By 1983, he was admitted into the University of Maiduguri to study Agric Economics. And by 1989, he obtained a degree of Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Agric Economics, second Class Upper Division. When it was time to undergo the mandatory one-year National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) programme, he was posted to Calabar, specifically to the Nigeria Agric Cooperative Bank for his primary assignment.
The deployment, no doubt may have exposed him early enough, to the attractions and challenges of the banking sector, but Shettima chose to go the academia at the end of his service year, in 1990. He returned to his alma mater, from where he enrolled for his M.Sc degree programme in Agricultural Economic at the University of Ibadan. He completed the programme and that earned him elevation to a higher grade of lecturer II in the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Maiduguri in 1993.
Shortly after his promotion, he had a career switch, as he returned to the banking sector. He joined the Commercial Bank of Africa Limited, where he rose through the ranks to become an Officer and Head of Accounts Unit, from1993 to 1997. He later joined the African International Bank Limited, where he was Deputy Manager, Kaduna Branch, and later Manager. He spent five years at the place. By 2001, he moved to Zenith bank where he was Deputy Manager/Branch Head, Maiduguri Branch, 2001 to 2002, Manager/Branch Head 2002 to 2003, Senior Manager/Branch Head 2004, Assistant General Manager (AGM)/Zonal Head North East-2004 to 2005, Deputy General Manager/Zonal Head North East-2005 to 2007, and General Manager in 2007.
A former banker and lecturer, Shettima joined active politics in 2007. He was commissioner in five different ministries within four years. The ministries he served were: Finance and Economic Development; Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs; Education; Agriculture and later Health. He was first elected governor in 2011. He was re-elected governor in 2015 and today, he is a senator-elect. He is happily married to Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima. And the marriage is blessed with three children.