In April of 2019, in my article titled, ‘Kashim, a war time master builder’, I brought to you the commissioning of 432 resettlement houses in 13 villages by Tinubu, built by Kashim Shettima of Borno State, back in 2017. 13 Primary and Junior Secondary Schools were also commissioned along with a general hospital and 5 primary healthcare centres. There were also 26 luxury apartments in 5 detached 3-storey buildings to serve as residence for medical doctors working for the state. It was named Tinubu court. Maryam Abacha also commissioned a 250 bed Ultra Modern Hospital, named in her honor, built by Gov. Kashim. On the 25th of April, Kashim invited PMB to commission the largest solar panel plant in Africa, which has now produced 40MW of solar power, with a capacity to build 150MW in 2022. He also commissioned an Asphalt plant along the notorious Baga Road, along with a Primary and Junior Secondary School. PMB also commissioned the Zanna Umar Legacy Gardens, with 246 apartments built for workers in the state. The Kashim Shettima housing legacy in Borno, boasts of 31, 747 houses altogether, placed in both the state capital, and the war ravaged rural communities.
The most masterful of all the projects built by Kashim Shettima, was the Industrial hub. It consists of several plants including the solar plant, waste recycling plant, tomatoes processing plant, cassava processing plant, ginger and onions dehydrating plant and table water line plant. Others are pilot juice processing plant, lines of corn chips processing plant, biscuit production plant, drip irrigation pipes production plant, plastic mats production plant, PVC pipes production plant, grains and cement sacks production plant; the list is endless. Some say its a pity Kashim was going to the senate as he would be under-utilised there. It would be plausible if he would be part of govt at the centre, as he would definitely be instrumental in bringing the next level to the North.
Two weeks after, I penned another article titled, ‘Kashim: The war time master builder does it again’. Kashim had invited the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo to commission another galaxy of projects. First was the 144 houses of the Gaji Galtimari apartments. He also commissioned an industrial layout at Njimtilo. There was also the Borno State University housing estate at Njimtilo. There was also the legacy gardens housing estate built in honor of Zanna Mustapha. There were so many road projects as well and the Vice President said they had to review the itinerary because there just wasn’t enough time to commission all the projects he had been invited to. Gov. Kashim had built over 40 mega schools in Borno, fully equipped, well furnished with air conditioners to bridge the gap in education brought about by the insurgency. I highlighted that Kashim has truly become the proverbial first son of the change agenda who has stuck to the manifestos of the change agenda, and has masterfully produced people oriented projects that touch the ordinary Nigerian. I summarised that Kashim has done APC proud and an unbiased analysis will show that Kashim is the best performing governor the APC has produced so far.
3 years after my pieces on Kashim, I was once again invited by his contributions to the Jagaban agenda, and I wrote another piece titled, ‘Kashim Shettima: The Jagaba of Jagaban’s campaign.’ In it I reminded you of the architect for the emancipation and reconstruction of Borno; and here he was in front of every TV camera in Jagaban’s campaign team. I had no idea my master builder isn’t just about building, he is blessed with oratory. In one of the campaigns, he waxed thus about Tinubu, “Tinubu has a propensity for sacrificing his comfort to protect the country’s democracy. So much has been said about this political enigma by hacks, with a poor sense of history. The path that has led us to Asiwaju didn’t happen by chance. He provided sanctuaries for fleeing patriots who are very much around to testify to his large heart. Our younger patriots must be in the know about Tinubu’s struggles from two decades past, when he was the backbone of the opposition; and how he was fiercely antagonised and politically ostracised by the ruling party.” It is a no brainer for a Kashim to happen in Tinubu’s team, and the nexus ofcourse is purposeful leadership that nurtures future and competent leaders.
I present to you my VP candidate for Jagaban. Tinubu has the South West on a lockdown. Okowa of PDP will hardly lockdown the South South, and be rest assured Peter Obi has the South East on a lockdown as well. The North remains the battleground, the richest battleground. The truth is a Northern Muslim there. If you want to go religious about having a Christian VP for Tinubu, it is a deathwish in disguise. It is not just about any northerner or any Muslim northerner or Christian northerner. Our eyes and ears as well as our senses are beyond that. We need people that have been tested and have succeeded. We need people whose antecedents and legacies we can pick and campaign with; not mere political balancing tools who at the end of the day may just clinch failure for us at the polls.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi.