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SHETTIMA: BETWEEN APC CHAIR AND NIGERIA’S NEXT VICE PRESIDENT

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SHETTIMA: BETWEEN APC CHAIR AND NIGERIA’S NEXT VICE PRESIDENT

SHETTIMA: BETWEEN APC CHAIR AND NIGERIA’S NEXT VICE PRESIDENT

By Inuwa Bwala

Given the precarious security situation in most parts of Nigeria today, some people may consider it uncharitable to discuss political issues, especially the politics of 2023.

Borno state Gov. Kashim Shettima, speaks to the Associated Press during an interview at the Government house in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Wednesday, Sept, 28. 2011. Security forces arrested a top commander of a radical Muslim sect who ordered killings in the northeastern city where the group’s mosque once stood, bringing a new calm to the restive region, a governor said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Security therefore have tended to dominate national discourse. But even if we shy away from discussing it, the reality shall still stare us in the face, to the effect that, the peace we lack is as a result of lack of justice from our political leaders.If that is the case, we should put political discourse in the front burner, so as to make Nigerians circumspect in choosing who should be our leaders in the next dispensation and those who should constitute the team.

While musing over this, what readily come to my mind is the choice of the next President of Nigeria.I have heard debates on who should be and where should the next President come from. And much as I concede to the argument, that our laws do not recognize zoning or power rotation as a formula for power sharing, I am not oblivious of the fact that, in our quest for peace and justice, we must accommodate certain extra constitutional considerations in power sharing: if only so that there will be peace and justice.T

he acceptable narrative in political discourse is that which concedes the next Presidency to the southern part of the country. Just minded Nigerians argue that, unless this is done, we might end up multiplying our national malady.If my guess is right therefore, the leadership of Nigerian major political parties have resolved to give their Presidential tickets to the southern part of the country.

To disregard the call for the next President coming from the southern part of Nigeria, is to jettison the already established precedence in the leadership cycle of the country.Irrespective of whether, the issue of zoning or rotation is contained in the constitution of political parties or that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the spirit of fair play, justice and equity presupposes that the North should allow the South, to come in when President Muhammadu Buhari serves out his tenure in 2023.

What one cannot guess for now is who it is going to be. There is already a coterie of aspirants being touted as the likely dark horses. But while people discuss the possible Presidential hopefuls, nobody seems to be talking about the possible next Vice President. We cannot disregard the office of the Vice President and the likely occupant.The north parades capable hands, who could be the Vice President.

But if quality is what to look out for in sifting the possible choices, one man who readily comes to mind is former Borno State Governor, now Senator of the Federal Republic, Kashim Shettima.Not quite long ago, I was amongst those who muted the idea of making Shettima the national Chairman of his party, the APC. And people may wonder why I have been arguing in favor of Shettima to be tested with higher responsibilities.

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After my last piece, Kashim Shettima told me he is contented as a Senator and he has no further ambition, but I insist that, failing to test him with higher responsibilities could be a great disservice to the country, as his potentials, his tact and intellect are apt for usage in resolving some of our national problems.

As a contemporary, I make haste to say that, in the annals of leadership amongst the younger generation in Nigeria, Shettima epitomizes our dream personality. And having worked with him in the same cabinet and under him as a commissioner, I am in good stands to recommend Kashim Shettima, as a vice Presidential material.Perhaps, the choice of Kashim Shettima from amongst other commissioners, just like the choice of his predecessor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, had a divine lining, in exposing the leadership qualities in them.

When I heard of a recent the resolution on Kashim Shettima by the Arewa groups in Kano, urging him answer their call and seek to become the next Vice President, I felt excited, as it confirmed my firm belief that, Kashim Shettima has more to offer to Nigeria.I became more convinced and decided to pen down my feeling about Shettima, even at the risk of inviting his wrath for the unsolicited expose, with the encomiums that poured in during his 55th birthday.

I always argue that, a man who has the vision to prop up Professor Babagana Umara Zulum as Governor of Borno State, must be imbued with great vision for leadership in Nigeria.The man who set the tone for the rapid infrastructural transformation of Maiduguri amidst challenges of security, can be relied upon as a leader.

The man who even his critics and political adversaries respect for his uncommon intellectual acumen, could make a good Vice President.Shettima stands shoulders high above those who bandy their candidature today, even without any antecedents. I think Nigerians should give him a trial: if not as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, then as the next Vice President of Nigeria. May we pull off the wool from our eyes to see the need for it.

SHETTIMA: BETWEEN APC CHAIR AND NIGERIA’S NEXT VICE PRESIDENT

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Nigeria: Why the youths must say “NO” to protest. 

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Say "NO" to Protest

Nigeria: Why the youths must say “NO” to protest. 

By: Dr. James Bwala

History should teach us lessons. And we have so many examples that are part of the history of some countries around us. Protests as being engineered and called for are never in the interest of the young Nigerian; rather, they are a way to further suppress and darken the future of young ones, and therefore, I see this as another evil rising on Nigeria, which I hope the youths will see as reasons not to be tempted to join those who do not mean well for them and for Nigeria. Those who want to cash in on the protest to their advantage are pushing their own evil interests to deny the young Nigerian his or her own hope for the future. 

I followed many calls on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and listened to many voices calling on the Nigerian youths to join them on the days to demonstrate and show their displeasure to the government over hunger in the land. They claimed it was about a policy, and I did not really understand the truth about such claims. Some pointed to the issue of insecurity that people cannot go to their farms and blamed the present administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima, and on this too, they are not speculating on facts that are leading them to want to express anger through protest. 

I could not understand why all the things they are pointing to have been on their doorsteps for over 10 years and they would not protest until now. Does it mean that their eyes are now open to the situation we all found ourselves in? I have lived in northeastern Nigeria, and I have seen situations created by insecurity where children, young men, and adults hold each other’s hands and cry out for help to have a drop of grain and for one cut of a handful of mold grain flour to go through their mouths and down their throats for the day, but they could not have the assurance of such a meal. No one came to the rescue; no one called for a protest, and the people built their resilience until the heavens brought succor. 

READ ALSO:https://newsng.ng/the-plight-of-farida/

The situation in which certain individuals are coming to tell young Nigerians to protest or to demonstrate against the administration requires a deeper look into their motives. It may not be about hunger in the land afterwards, for we have endured many hungers and we did not protest, so why now? Politics is still in the play, and a few individuals—I mean, very few individuals—who are not happy with the Tinubu and Shettima administration are orchestrating the wind horses. Some young Nigerians may think otherwise, but believe me, there are many more evils behind the call for protest than what you are hearing on social media, and these are about destroying a whole lot of what you have hoped for. 

I will suggest that no Nigerian youth should join or listen to calls from those who have sent their children abroad for you to continue to be their foot soldiers, and in the end, they achieve something and you achieve nothing. Take a look at the protests or demonstrations in the past. Not outside Nigeria, but within. Some of you have participated, and you are still on the street after that protest. Your peace and happiness have been taken. Those you fought for—have they come to salvage your situation? Unless you want to remain perpetually a fool on the street with very little to gain and no knowledge of what you are bargaining, then you may choose to go with the evil callers; otherwise, say ‘NO’ to protest as it is not actually in your interest. 

This administration, which you are being instigated to demonstrate against, has won many battles in the last year. The latest in the Hope initiative are the achievements of the court ruling on local government autonomy. This government has achieved free imports for drugs and rice and brought peace through the establishment of the livestock ministry. These are a few achievements from the last six months. We have waited for eight years in hope through the Buhari administration, and no one has seen positive changes, but we waited. Herein, with the Tinubu and Shettima administrations, we are seeing the moves and the results. Can we not hold on to this renewed hope since we are seeing the changes coming? 

Nigerian youths, let no one deceive us into doing their bid. They have places to go; we only have Nigeria, which is all we have. When they moved out, we remained here. They cannot come from Europe and America to ask us to set our houses on fire while they go back to their second homes and leave us in the shackles that we used our own hands to perpetuate their desires against us for their selfish and evil interests. No, we must not come to the level they want us to reach. We must rise with renewed hope and join this administration to build a Nigeria where peace and justice reign, just as we pledged to build in our re-engineering calls for a better tomorrow. 

Dr. James BWALA, PhD, writes from Abuja.

Nigeria: Why the youths must say “NO” to protest. 

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Why Borno residents should support the Zulum Administration

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Why Borno residents should support the Zulum Administration

By: Yusuf Adamu

Unfortunately, the lack of electricity and shortage of water in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, have continued to turn some sections of the state against the government. While many are thinking it is the government job to provide electricity and water, a lot of people are not looking at the efforts the government is putting in during the phase of challenges from saboteurs and terrorists as it affects the issues of electricity in the state, particularly.

Borno State has been in darkness for the last two weeks, and the governor spoke with concern from faraway Saudi Arabia, where he went to worship, and he was informed of the electricity issue back home. Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has done tremendously well in ensuring that Borno State overcomes the issue of electricity, to the extent that he went beyond his jurisdiction to ensure that he solved the problem.

He went further to collaborate with the NNPC, which informed the setting of a gas plant in Maiduguri to support the epileptic power supply as a result of the continuous attacks on the electricity supply lines feeding Maiduguri. However, the activities of saboteurs, who would rather, out of their greed, overload the gas plant, have constantly resulted in the disruption of the gas plant’s capacity to provide adequate supply.

Rather than people condemning the government for some of this man-made distraction, I think the people of Borno State should pray for an end to the activities of terrorists and the saboteurs who continuously take advantage of the situation to speak ill of the government. If the opposition is speaking, we would understand, but when citizens say otherwise, we would like to remind them that the governor of Borno State has been doing everything possible to make Borno State great. 

The collaboration with NNPC and the purchase of electric vehicles to ease pain for people are things to see and agree that the governor meant well for his people. This is aside from the numerous projects he was able to achieve in the state. We are also lucky to have the Vice President, who is our own and whose focus is also to see Borno State become great again.

Just yesterday, he was speaking on the issues affecting the state when he arrived in the state for the sallah celebration. He gave hope for a better Borno state and spoke well of the collaboration the federal government is having with Borno state to end the perennial challenges facing the state at the moment. Let us continue to uplift our leaders in prayer and support their dream of making Borno one of the best things that happens to its people in the current administration.

***Yusuf Adamu writes from Maiduguri and is the former political adviser to Kashim Shettima.

Why Borno residents should support the Zulum Administration

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Katampe Estate: An iftar special for both Muslims and Christians in Abuja

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Katampe Estate: An iftar special for both Muslims and Christians in Abuja

By: Dr. James BWALA

Residents of Urban Shelter Katampe Estate, Jahi, in Abuja organize an iftar—breaking of the fast. One may think that this is only for the Muslim community in the estate, but it was special for the residents of the estate to demonstrate love and togetherness as well as promote and showcase peaceful coexistence amongst the adherents of the two major religions in the country. Christians were part of the jolly evening, and I am also there to share the joy and happiness that brought together human beings that are working to bring understanding and support for one another, as should be in the spirit of Ramadan.

iftar at Urban Shelter, Katampe Estate

It was a gathering that brought the lowly and the might men and women. I kept an eye out and captured the mood, which triggered happiness and informed my decision to write on this. Indeed, if everyone would take a line with this example of love amongst the two religions in the country, we would not be asking what is wrong with the system that governs us as a nation.

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I was invited for iftar as always by my brothers, who are Muslims, but this one was different. It has been a tradition that the Katampe Estate has kept for years. I was told by some people that we were seated at the same table that those who introduced the occasion desire a community where peace is truly said and practiced, and that can only be achieved when both Muslims and Christians understand that we all have to be humans and also understand that we are all created by God for his worship.

The explanation as I listened gave me the understanding that the problem with Nigerians is not about the religion we practice but the individual understanding of the region we all practice. If the residents of the Urban Shelter Katampe Estate in Jahi have this understanding of building a community, I believe there are many lessons we can learn from their coexistence, where a Muslim and a Christian can look into each other’s eyes with love and sincere wishes.

iftar special at Katampe Estate in Jahi

On the table where I sat, the talk and laughter made me see that Nigeria can build a stronger state if there is understanding between humans and everyone wants the good of the other, as everyone was encouraging each other to eat from the variety and trying to help one another get the best of the table. Such selfless understanding should always be practiced. 

Perhaps I write this piece to trigger the adoption of such an attitude not only in a month like Ramadan but also in all days and months in each year of our existence as people and as a nation. If we can all inculcate this and put it as part of our daily lives, there would not be hunger in the land, and everyone, as I see at the Katampe Estate, where both the mighty and the lowly eat together to their satisfaction and more food remains for a takeaway, reminded me of the Biblical feeding of the five thousand. And this, in my opinion, is the gospel.

James BWALA, PhD, writes from Abuja.

Katampe Estate: An iftar special for both Muslims and Christians in Abuja

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