Shettima’s demonstration of courage in the face of daunting challenges makes him a most deserving awardee of The Sun Courage in Leadership award 2018.
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’s demonstration of courage in the face of adversity and daunting challenges, especially at the height of Boko Haram rampage, makes him a most deserving awardee of The Sun Courage in Leadership award 2018.
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struggle to ensure that the quit notice issued last year by some northern youths to the Igbo residing in the North was withdrawn.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.
A former banker and lecturer, Shettima was commissioner in five different ministries within four years before assuming the office of governor in 2011.