Gov Shettima Confronts Buhari Ahead Of 2019


Governor Kashim Shettima may have flagged off his 2019 presidential campaign with his posters dotting some strategic places in Abuja and Kaduna. SYLVESTER ALIJO, who has been monitoring the politics of Borno, writes that the governor may be heading for a political suicide

With Nigerians yet to fully digest and analyse the scorecard of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first year in office, worrying signals are emerging about the perceived presidential ambition of Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima on the platform of governing All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2019. But sources in the APC said though monkey business is being read into current events around the Borno State Chief Executive, “We have nothing concrete on ground to worry about. Moreover, the Party is on top of its game and don’t be surprised if some persons and their pockets of sponsored supporters are currently under close watch. Insiders said visibly disturbing is the occurrence of May 29, 2016, Nigeria’s Democracy Day in Abuja and Kaduna where Governor Shettima’s posters adorned the road leading to Nmamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja as well as other strategic places in Kaduna, including the popular Ahmadu Bello Way and Constitution Road announcing the so-called presidential ambition of the embattled Borno state helmsman..

Shettima’s Men Friday On Prowl?

Believed to be eyeing the presidency in 2019 like his former boss, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Governor Shettima has reportedly set in motion a sensitization machinery and strong lobby group for the purpose of reaching out to friendly political blocks towards actualizing his ambition of taking a shot at the Presidency after his two-term at the government house Maiduguri. Already, indications are strong that his contact men and foot soldiers are on prowl across the country with the mandate to woo individuals and groups that would likely be sympathetic and willing to come on board his 2019 political train. Insiders hinted that topmost among the big fish on their ‘Get at all cost’ list is Governor Rochas Okorocha being enticed with a joint ticket that would see him emerging as Vice Presidential candidate to Governor Shettima. However, political watchers see the scheming as an uphill task for Governor Shettima’s men Friday given that Governor Okorocha had publicly declared his lack of interest in gunning for presidency in 2019 owing to the good works President Muhammadu Buhari is doing to fix Nigeria.

Gov Okorocha denies pact

Pointedly, Governor Okorocha has distanced himself from campaign posters with his picture flanking his Borno State counterpart, Governor Shetttima for the 2019 presidential election. Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha described the posters, which appeared on the Internet and in some parts of Abuja and Kaduna as “another mischief” by some elements to undermine the achievements of the governor whose loyalty to President Buhari is unalloyed.

The Power Play Antics

Findings by Forefront indicate that following allegations of massive corruption against the Shettima-led administration, some officials at the seat of power in Aso Rock Villa, have effectively created a wedge against him in what competent sources hinted “is a way of preventing President Buhari from getting stained by allegations of corrupt accumulation of wealth by the governor using the Boko Haram insurgency platform.” A reliable source told Forefront that “the timing and sudden emergence of the controversial posters on the political terrain may be Shettima’s supposed response to the searchlight beamed on his administration by the Presidency in order to extract a possible truce on troubling issues of alleged maladministration and misdeeds in Borno. Principally, these concerns centre on monthly allocations from the Federation Account to the Local Government Councils that were under the control of Boko Haram for more than two years.” However, an insider at the APC headquarters in Abuja said, “in these times where political maneuverings and backstabbing occur on daily basis, the developments we are seeing in the polity may also be a way that some of Governor Shettima’s allies want to send a message that their camp has what it takes to frustrate President Buhari’s probable second term ambition in 2019 if the presidency refuses to back down on its searchlight on alleged corruption scandals in Borno State through the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

EFCC Intensifies Watch

Dependable source at the anti-graft agency confided in Forefront that following the spate of petitions written against his administration by concerned citizens of the state, Governor Shettima has been under intense watch from security agencies for some time now. The source explained that but for his re-election in 2015, Shettima would have been a regular caller at the EFCC and/or ICPC sweating to extricate himself from expected refund of monies allegedly stolen from the Borno state coffers. “You know, he has immunity for now. But as soon as he leaves office, there would be no hiding place for him. He knows that he has cases to answer; he cannot escape justice; and certainly there will be no question of safe landing for anyone when the day of reckoning comes”, the source further averred.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply