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My take on Shettima’s unveiling, By Inuwa Bwala

My father used to tell me about how life could be likened to the story of a man who took a piece of cloth to the tailors shop for sewing into a dress.

While waiting for the tailor to make the dress, the man took a sit inside the shop and was getting agitated as he watched the tailor shred the piece of cloth into pieces.

He wanted to stop the tailor at a point from further destroying his beautiful piece of cloth, but the tailor merely smiled and asked him to be patient and wait to the end.

The tailor put together the shred pieces and sewed them into place, and the man was happy at the end of the day, when the tailor presented him with a dress, more beautiful than he initially envisaged.

This could be the story of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu/Kashim Shettima presidency. The present noise will subside when they assume leadership and give Nigerians a better type of leadership we do not envisage.

For reasons beyond my control, I could not make it to Abuja for the official unveiling of my boss, Senator Kashim Shettima as the Presidential running mate of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Presidential candidate of the APC yesterday. But I did not miss the essential details of the event; courtesy of the presence of my colleagues who fed me with minute by minute accounts of developments at the venue.

Of all that happened, including the presence of Christian clerics, which people are trying to over dramatize: Kashim Shettima’s acceptance speech, which also unmasked the sense of nationalism in him, forms the climax of his unveiling.
Those who try to make issues out of developments at the sidelines, to wit castigating clergymen who attended, risk an opportunity of the excursion into Shettima’s person, character and disposition to the Nigeria project.
Listening to Shettima as he delivered his address from my room, I know that the speech was personally scripted by him, and it captures the honest inner convictions of the man Shettima, much more than the flow of oratory aesthetics .
As a Christian who has known and worked with Kashim Shettima, I know the flow of his thoughts and the concord between his thought and inner contemplations and I was convinced that he meant every sentence of that speech from the bottom of his heart.

People may have the right to protest their perceived exclusion from the process, but I know, that, Shettima may not be the culprit people try to paint, in the unfolding political debate about Muslim/Muslim Ticket of the APC.

In his characteristic oratorical eloquence, Shettima took the audience, including his most virulent critics present on a mental excursion of Nationalism, patriotism, peace and national unity, above primordial sentiments, that have trailed his emergence as Tinubu’s running mate.
Even as I watched him speak, I could not help smiling and even clapping all alone in the room, with the mesmerizing eloquence of the Vice Presidential candidate.
Beyond the stories he told of his relationship with other people from the Christian faith in particular, one can cite many other instances where Shettima displayed rare show of love, tolerance and statesmanship in his dealings.

I firmly believe that, Kashim Shettima’s demonstrable sense of nationalism, far outweighs his faith as a Muslim, and the days ahead, and perhaps events after he may have been sworn in will tend to vindicate our views, that, Shettima is a more religiously and ethnically tolerant leader than most of those who seek to crucify him, for no particular offence.
I stand to be corrected, but I feel Shettima has showed more inclination trying to carry Christians along, in a predominant Muslim society like Borno, more than any other leader in the State.

I recall Shettima was the first to appoint two Christian Commissioners into his cabinet: including Honorable Ishaku Joshua Shara and my humble self. He had three permanent Secretaries: Dr Haruna Mshelia, currently at the National Assembly, Barrister Simon Malgwi, the current Head of Service and Dr. Barka Amaza.

If ones antecedents are yardsticks for testings ones level of commitment to a cause and tolerance if others, Shettima’s pedigree, gives him an edge over many others, who pay lip service to issues of tolerance.

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