In the words of George Washington Carver (1864 –1943) “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world”.
This saying has to a large extent defined Kashim Shettima as a person and in a way likened him to the great Nelson Mandela who on stepping out of prison in 1990 as a free man, noted in his autobiography, ” As I walked out the door towards the gate that would lead to my freedom, I know if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind I’d still be in prison”. Shettima in the same way has exhibited such a large heart of forgiveness and accommodation that even his political enemies have turned round to embrace him.
Shettima makes, breathes and acts news. He moves and acts in the speed of a meteor creating problems for the lazy and pen pushers. By a strong grip on events, a selfless disposition and achievement, he courts professional newsmen and historians.
His performance has been spectacular as demonstrated in various sectors of his administration both tangible and intangible with acknowledgements from an appreciative citizenry who have been hungry for not only dividends of democracy but liberation from the shackles of oppression and brutality from the demons of destruction otherwise called Boko Haram insurgents.
Recently, I read an article written by Mallam Isa Gusau, Shettimas Special adviser on Communication and Strategy and titled, “Borno Conspiracy and Shettima’s six years with 57 law makers ” The piece dwelt on the relationship between the Governor and the legislators from Borno state in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in both the State and National assembly.
Mallam Gusau explained that at a point some of the Governors Aides including himself were not comfortable with the open door policy and unfettered access to the governor of many people especially the legislators some of whom were publicly hostile to the governor. Sensing that Kashim might unconciously be courting trouble, Isa and some other aides sought audience with the governor to show him the dangers inherent in his disposition and for this Kashim thanked them for their observation.
To their utter dismay however, the governor later gave a directives that henceforth all the legislators in Borno state and their counterparts in the national assembly were free to see him after on the spot request at the Government house.
Gusau similarly pointed out that apart from this, Governor Shettima has the habit of visiting the legislators in their houses either in Abuja or Maiduguri, interact with their families and partake in meals with them to the consternation of many.
The adviser later admitted in his article that it was later that the wisdom of Governor Shettima in his disposition of Friendship to all without bitterness to everyone dawned on him. At a point he discovered that when an attempt was made to impeach the governor, this fell flat as 27 of the 28 members of the state assembly rejected this move.
Furthermore, the two PDP Senators in the national assembly defected to the APC during the first term of governorship of Shettima on the ground that they were attracted by his style of leadership. In the 2015 elections, APC swept all the seats in both state and national assembles from Borno state.
Indeed, Governor Shettima is an achiever personified. As a matter of fact, writing on him poses an uphill task. Foremost among the constraints is what to write on Shettima that has not been written as journalists and other writers fall over themselves over a man who to all intents and purposes is a big event, a major news break ! He is a press delight.