From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Former governor of Borno State Kashim Shettima has advocated for a power shift to southern Nigeria, noting that having been in power as president for eight years, the North should concede the position to the South.
He argued that logic, common sense, equity, justice and fairness demand that the North should allow power to move to the southern part of the country after eight years.
He equally lampooned those he called Buhari’s Church of Later Day Saints for scheming out former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, from President Muhammadu Buhari despite his contributions in Buhari’s emergence as president.
He spoke on Monday in Abuja at an event organised by Tinubu Support Groups to brighten the chances for his presidential aspiration.
“In 2015, some aspirants with very huge war chest were itching to cling the ticket of the APC, like the rock of Gibraltar, Asiwaju and his progressive team stood solidly behind the candidate u of Presidency Muhamadu Buhari.
“My simple question distinguished ladies and gentlemen where were the new members of what I call:
‘The Buhari’s Church of Latter Days Saints’ where were they. We knew where their political loyalty lied in that particular convention when President Muhamadu emerged as the presidential candidate of the APC. Where were they?
“Some people say everything goes in politics, not everything goes in politics. We shall have minimal thresholds below which we won’t operate and the irreducible minimum is that after eight years of Presidency in the North, the logic, common sense, equity, justice and fairness demand that power should move to the Southern part of the country.
“And who is better qualified? Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu should be given the choice of the first refusal. More than any other person, he has sacrificed more for this democracy, for the APC.
“He is a tested, accomplished and large-hearted leader who has invested his resources in building an extensive network of political mentees who have risen to the pick of their careers. He is a leader of leaders. A mentor who has mentored some of the best hands in this country. From our erudite Vice President, Osinbajo to Babatunde Fashola our lawyer who has turned into an engineer in the Federal Ministry of Works; Rauf Aregbeshola, Mamora, of course, seated here is James Faleke, Lai Mohammed, Richard Adeniyi Adebayo and to my friend, the Governor of Ekiti State, John Fayemi Kayode. These were members of the Asiwaju team that have excelled and continue to excel.
“He has the capacity to forgive and embrace recalcitrant sons that have returned back to base. A lot of his prodigal children have returned back to his camp and he has embraced them, empower them, and make them have a sense of belonging,” he said.
He lambasted those discrediting Asiwaju Tinubu based on age, stressing: “I’m not asking you to tone down critical assessments of your future leaders, but redirect your view to see the bigger picture. We are not here to prepare for the Olympics, but an institution that relies on the superiority of ideas to thrive.
“Asiwaju’s credentials aren’t only appealing, they are proof of the qualities this country needs to redeem its vast potentials and possibilities. We are here to testify to this power of ideas—one that overturned the fortunes of Lagos state and sustained its supremacy as the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and kept the opposition alive when it was more profitable to sell out.
“Those who seek to make us go low hope to present the presidency as a brick-laying exercise. But that’s the work of a machine created by an idea, and who else to guide us towards manufacturing the best ideas to redeem this country? Shettima queried.