A sociopolitical group, Omo Oyo Pataki said after its review of political trends leading to the coming 25 February, 2023 presidential polls, it indeed now understands why Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), chose Senator representing Borno Central, Kashim Shettima, describing that bold move, despite the strident opposition which heralded it as an exhibition of Asiwaju’s pragmatism, a quality every outstanding leader must possess.
Chairman of Omo Oyo Pataki , Dr. Sakibu Ilyas in a chat with newsmen in Saki, headquarters of Saki West Local Government, after the group’s retreat, maintained that for Asiwaju to have stuck with Shettima is a clear demonstration of courage, character and conviction, exhibited through pragmatism. The former Lagos governor, he noted, remains Nigeria’s best choice, at a time like this.
“For Asiwaju, the qualities Shettima brought to the table outweigh whatever primordial sentiments the opposition could’ve whipped up. He, undoubtedly, believes in the sterling qualities of the former two-term Borno governor, hence his boldness not only to pick him, but more importantly, his faith to stick by the highly cerebral Borno politician, despite fabricated lies and innuendos thrown up to distort his choice.
“Shettima, an ex-banker and politician our group recalls, was governor of Borno State between 2011 and 2019, with the larger part of his administration battered by the Boko Haram insurgency. Despite the travails that insurgency represented, Shettima weathered the storm, coming out stronger, and delivering a state whose infrastructure remains a dream for some state enjoying relative peace,” Dr. Sakibu noted.
Noting that Shettima emerged the Leadership Newspaper’s 2014 Governor of the Year; the National Leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ)’s 2015 Governor of the Year; NewsWatch 2015 Governor of the Year; Vanguard Newspapers’ 2015 Governor of the Year; Tell Magazine’s 2016 Governor of the Year,; 2017 Zik Prize for Leadership; Kaduna NUJ Award for courage and exceptional leadership (2017); FCT NUJ Merit Award for exceptional Leadership (2017), amongst several awards in recognition of his admirable performance, Omo Oyo Pataki added that pound for pound, Shettima is the most qualified of all running mates in this season’s contest, and that but for political expediency, qualifies to even run for president.
“If in doubt, the huge crowd present at the Tinubu/Shettima rally in Maiduguri is enough to quench all doubts. That crowd, massive as it was, showed only one thing, that Kashim Shettima is a man of the people. Above all, his careful transition of political governance in that state to another A-list performer, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, who’s since taken up the gauntlet, and even pushed the frontiers of governance higher, is testament to Shettima’s competence,” Omo Oyo Pataki, speaking through Dr. Sakibu added.
The group, while maintaining that Shettima’s outstanding leadership traits, political strength and high intelligence were virtues which separate him from other running mates, consequently lauded Asiwaju for such a choice, believing that by God’s grace, when he wins, the Borno Central Senator will be a worthy addition to the Tinubu government.
While urging voters to consider the lofty opportunity a Tinubu/Shettima administration portends – for the economy with both coming from the finance sector, for security with both having managed tough security challenges and for decision-making with both having shown clear mindedness and guts, Omo Oyo Pataki implores the electorates to come out enmasse and vote these two as the nation’s president and vice president respectively, so the Nigeria can be set on the path of peace, progress and prosperity.