- Governor Shettima of Borno says Nigeria's presidents attained the position by chance
- He hints he will not contest for residency
- The governor of Borno says Boko Haram has been weakened
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state has said that only fools aspire to be Nigeria’s president due to the dynamics and intricacy of the position and hints that he has no plan to contest for presidency.
In an interview with vanguard, Shettima said the emergence of Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari followed similar paths of chance rather than interest.
He said: “If I have to be brutally frank I will tell you that given our political dynamics that have been with us from time immemorial, only a fool aspires for the presidency of Nigeria. The presidency of this country is one that you don’t aspire to become if you have regard for our history and if you know what you are doing.
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“President Muhammadu Buhari aspired to be president in 2003, 2007 and 2011, he didn’t succeed because he was the one seeking the office. But ahead of the 2015 elections, Nigerians unanimously wanted him, not him seeking for the Presidency from onset that time around, he had to be convinced or perhaps begged to re-contest and those who begged him read the body language of Nigerians, majority of Nigerians were fed up with the PDP and because the main issue was about corruption the person Nigerians needed was one that his integrity was absolutely certain; Nigerians wanted a man with capacity to fight corrupt public officials with insanity for corruption and Buhari was that man.
“If you cast your mind back to previous years, President Shehu Shagari wanted to become a Senator, he didn’t aspire for the Presidency, Nigerians choose him through evaluators in the NPN who made him the party’s flag bearer; when we returned to democracy in 1999, President Obasanjo was in prison so the issue of aspiring for the Presidency didn’t even arise, he was chosen to come and be President and Nigerians accepted him.
“When Obasanjo was leaving in 2007, we all know how some outgoing Governors scrambled for the Presidency. The late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was not an aspirant; in fact, someone told me that when he was to be chosen, most Governors who were his colleagues didn’t have his phone number because he was reserved. His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was a deputy governor and didn’t even aspire to be governor but he ended up becoming president of this country.
“So, Nigeria has its peculiar political dynamics. It is good that we get to a level people can aspire based on their convictions and readiness but the reality is that for now, you will be foolish to aspire for the Nigerian presidency. “
On the issue of Boko Haram, Governor Shettima said the insurgency has been decimated to a great extent.
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“They have been defeated for now. We have won the battle but winning the war requires long term planning and execution. For now, they have been defeated as a fighting force, they don’t have the capacity to hold on to territory in this country as they used to, they have been truly, truly degraded in their capability to inflict pain.
“It will not be accurate to say that there is no Boko Haram in Borno, but by and large, they have been sufficiently decimated that they no longer pose any serious threat to the territorial integrity of this country. But note that in November 2008, ten terrorists held, Mumbai, a city of 20 million for three days and these guys dwell on the oxygen of publicity because in their campaign to burn, maim, loot and what they are craving for is a higher ranking in the Jihadist world.”
You may read the full interview here.